(The Center Square) – State Rep. LaToya Greenwood wants to make sure unused food at the more than 850 school districts throughout the state goes to those who need it most.
Greenwood recently met with members of the Elementary and Secondary Education Committee to discuss an amendment to Senate Bill 805.
The new amendment would require school districts to come up with programs to distribute unused school food to students in households with food insecurity. The amendment would have to be a “joint effort between school districts and their local health departments,” Greenwood said.
“The food sharing program must be focussed around needy students and be jointly supported by the school district’s local health departments,” Greenwood said.
While many members said they are in favor of the idea, some had questions about distribution and other issues. State Rep. Avery Bourne, a Republican committee member, was opposed, but said she would support the amendment if the outstanding issues could be resolved.
Deanna Sullivan, director of governmental relations with the Illinois Association of School Boards, said that school districts could run it to problems with distribution. She also said that having school districts coming up with their own plans for such programs could prove complicated.
“There is no question if there is unused food that it should go to needy students, the thing we are concerned about is the requirement of school districts coming up with their plans and implementation,” Sullivan said.
After some debate by committee members, Greenwood’s amendment to Senate Bill 805 was favorably passed to the House.