Fewer kids could receive free school meals under House bill

FILE - In this April 29, 2014, file photo, fruit and vegetables are served during lunch at the Patrick Henry Elementary School in Alexandria, Va. Congress will have to decide soon whether it wants another food fight with first lady Michelle Obama and the administration over what’s served in the school lunch line. School food rules pitted Republicans seeking full exemptions for some schools against Obama in 2014, with the first lady declaring she'd fight "to the bitter end" to make sure kids have good nutrition. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) – House Republicans are considering legislation that could lower the number of students receiving free and reduced-price meals at school.

Legislation debated by the House Education and Workforce Committee on Wednesday aims to save money by scaling back the number of schools in which all students receive free or reduced meals.

A proposed Republican amendment to the bill would go even further, allowing a trial period of so-called block grants for school meals in three states. That would mean those states wouldn’t receive unlimited federal dollars for students who qualify for the free and reduced-price lunches.

Hunger and nutrition advocates from the American Academy of Pediatrics to the American Heart Association have criticized the legislation.

The committee was scheduled to vote on the amendment and the overall bill Wednesday.

(Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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