"More low-income school kids could soon have access to free nutritious dinners like the lasagna that Avery loved. A U.S. Department of Agriculture program in Vermont, 12 other states and the District of Columbia provides reimbursements for the suppers, served at after-school programs for at-risk kids in communities where at least 50 percent of households fall below the poverty level."
"Around the country, about 49,000 children benefit from the after-school meals each day. The program is expected to cost a total of $8 million from 2009 to 2013, the USDA said."
"With more families losing jobs and homes, the need is growing, officials said."
"The number of Americans who live in food-insecure households — which at times don't have enough nutritious food — rose from 36 million people in 2007 to 49 million in 2008, according to the most recent report from USDA's Economic Research Service." (AP News)