In several states, momentum has been building to secure universal school meals after districts nationwide benefited the past two years from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s pandemic-era waiver authority to provide free meals to all students regardless of income.

The deadline for Congress to extend the USDA’s ability to keep universal meals and other waivers assisting school nutrition programs with supply chain woes is June 30.

If the waivers do not continue, families nationwide will have to start paying again for breakfast and lunch unless their children qualify for free or reduced-price meals.

Solutions at the federal level are also waning as a bipartisan Senate bill to extend this federal waiver authority has made little progress in Congress since being introduced in March, according to a K-12 Dive report.

Recently, however, the Vermont state legislature passed a bill funding universal school meals for the next school year at a cost of $29 million. In Colorado, state lawmakers approved a measure allowing voters to decide in November if they want a universal school meal program starting in 2023. The House of Representatives in Massachusetts also passed a budget including $110 million to fund universal school meals for one year, as the state’s Senate debates its final budget proposal.

California and Maine were among the first states to have passed statewide free school meals in 2021.