Maine task force aims to feed hungry students

AUGUSTA – Maine lawmakers, officials and advocates began to wrestle Monday with how to provide more students with access to free or affordably-priced meals, which they say is vital to helping low-income children succeed in school.

More than 83,000 Maine students qualify for free-or-reduced-price meals, but the federally-funded programs are underutilized by both schools and students, said Democratic Senate President Justin Alfond of Portland. Alfond is co-chairing the task force responsible for developing a multi-year plan to boost participation in the programs and reduce student hunger by working with school administrators and the private sector.

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