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What happens when Kansas City kids lose free school lunches

Kansas City schools have seen student lunch debt soar since a pandemic-era universal free lunch program expired last fall. Now, there’s a push to make cafeterias welcoming for all students. Plus: Kansas teachers say student behavior has gotten much worse since the COVID pandemic.

During the pandemic, school districts could offer free meals to all students, regardless of their income. Now that schools are charging for lunches again, many Kansas City area families are coming up short, and as KCUR’s Jodi Fortino reports, school lunch debt is soaring.

Kansas schools are reporting a surge of disruptive behavior by students, including violence against teachers. As Suzanne Perez of the Kansas News Service reports, the subject has caught the attention of teachers unions and state lawmakers, but solutions are hard to find.

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Kansas City Today is hosted by Nomin Ujiyediin. It is produced by Paris Norvell, Byron Love and KCUR Studios and edited by Gabe Rosenberg and Lisa Rodriguez.

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As a newscaster and a host of a daily news podcast, I want to deliver the most important and interesting news of the day in an engaging and easily understandable way. No matter where you live in the metro or what you’re interested in, I want you to learn something from each newscast or podcast – and maybe even give you something to talk about at the dinner table.
Paris Norvell is a freelance podcast producer for KCUR Studios,
As an on-demand producer, I am focused on using my skills and experiences across multiple digital applications, platforms and media fields to create community focused audio, video and on-demand products for KCUR Studios. The media that I produce aims to inform, entertain and connect with the Kansas City metro area as we continue to learn from each other. Email me at byronlove@kcur.org.
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