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US families brace for the end of pandemic-era free school meals

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Essex, Vt.

Earlier than the pandemic, there was no room within the price range for Kate Murphy’s kids to purchase lunch at college. She and her husband would purchase in bulk and make bag lunches at house. So the free college meals that have been made out there to college students nationwide amid the disaster have introduced welcome reduction, particularly since her husband misplaced his job final yr at a bakery firm that closed.

The free meals gave the Essex Junction, Vermont, household one much less factor to fret about.

“We make simply an excessive amount of cash [literally by just a few dollars] to qualify at no cost or lowered lunches and different food-related advantages, however not sufficient to actually ever really feel financially snug,” Ms. Murphy, a mom of 4 and administrator at a belief firm, mentioned by e-mail.