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A new bill would mandate school lunch periods to be at least 30 minutes for K-12 students. Maine currently advises school districts to only allocate at least 20 minutes of a student’s day for lunch.

LD 1002, “An Act to Require a Lunch Period of at Least 30 Minutes for Students and Reduce Food Waste,” is sponsored by Rep. Janice Dodge, of Belfast.

This bill requires school administrative units to provide students with a lunch period of at least 30 minutes unless determined impracticable by the school administrative unit’s governing body after notice and public hearing. The lunch period must be separate from recess, which the school administrative unit is encouraged to provide directly before the lunch break. This bill also requires to the extent possible for the school administrative unit to provide a table, container or other area where a student may return unconsumed whole food or beverage items that may be provided to other students.

Discussion in committee is expected in the coming weeks.

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