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The pandemic-era federal aid that made school meals available for free to all public school students — regardless of family income levels — is ending, raising fears about the effects in the upcoming school year for families already struggling with rising food and fuel costs.

Now that President Joe Biden has signed into law the Keep Kids Fed Act, adjusting how students can get their meals, school across the nation are struggling to fill the gaps as federal support for universal free meals soon ends. Read more»

The United States' newest federal holiday, Juneteenth — commemorating the emancipation of enslaved African Americans — will be celebrated with a number of events around Tucson this weekend. Read more»

Don Guerra, owner of Barrio Bread, was recognized with the 2022 James Beard Award for Outstanding Baker on Monday, adding to Tucson's national culinary reputation. Read more»

Bianca Morales, the Tucson Sentinel's new Cultural Expression &amp; Community Values reporter.

A new fulltime journalist will be exploring the ties that bind us and the dreams that push us in Tucson and Southern Arizona, with support from TucsonSentinel.com's readers and the national Report for America program. We've hired Bianca Morales as our Cultural Expression and Community Values reporter. Read more»

During the COVID-19 pandemic, states gave a boost to struggling restaurants by allowing cocktails to-go - but the expansion has strained understaffed alcohol enforcement agencies, which have been hard-pressed to prevent underage drinking. Read more»

Demonstrators gather at Phoenix’s Colter Park in support of Ukraine after marching from the Ukrainian American Cultural Center in Phoenix on Feb. 27, 2022.

President Joe Biden on Thursday asked Congress to approve $33 billion more in funding to help Ukraine fight off a Russian invasion that has lasted more than two months and renewed calls for additional funding to fight COVID-19. Read more»

A dozen healthcare organizations in Arizona will share over $5.1 million in federal grants as part the American Rescue Plan Act, passed last year under the Biden administration. Read more»

When fans enter Chase Field, they will find that the Arizona Diamondbacks have a variety of new food items available.

The Arizona Diamondbacks have unveiled new food items that will be available at the ballpark - ranging from Buffalo Chicken Sidewinders to Baja Fish Tacos - along with new food partners located throughout the concourse. Read more»

The Pima County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously in favor of using $1 million in federal COVID relief funding to promote tourism. Two grants awarded to Visit Tucson and Tucson City of Gastronomy will help advertise the local UNESCO designation. Read more»

Because SNAP is federally funded, it doesn’t cost the state extra money except in administrative fees.

A bill, sponsored by Snowflake Republican Rep. Walt Blackman, to help individuals in Arizona with drug-related felony convictions keep food on the table cleared the House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday, taking its first step toward becoming law. Read more»

House Bill 2060, would require only that the formerly incarcerated person follow their terms of probation to qualify for SNAP.

Arizona Republican Rep. Walt Blackman is backing legislation that would expand access to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program for recently released felons by requiring only that the formerly incarcerated person follow their terms of probation to qualify for food assistance. Read more»

More states are allowing certain residents to use their food benefits on select, low-cost restaurant meals.

In the past two years, six states, Including Arizona, have opted in to the little-used federal Restaurant Meals Program that allows older adults, people with disabilities and people experiencing homelessness to use their food benefits on select, low-cost restaurant meals. Read more»

Jo Schneider with sons Eli and Ben at Bentley's House of Coffee and Tea

Bentley's House of Coffee and Tea is closing its Speedway location, relocating yet again — to our hearts and minds and memories. Read more»

As proposals to unify food safety have ebbed and flowed, longtime proponents of a single agency say they’ve come to believe that modernizing food safety laws needs to happen first.

For more than 70 years, consumer advocates, government experts, members of Congress and several presidents have called for a single food safety agency - but the idea has stalled again and again, easy to propose but all but impossible to enact. Read more»

More than a half-million Arizona kids are eligible for free or reduced-price meals at school, but advocates worry that with schools out for the holidays some children will not get the meals they need. Students at Barbara Robey Elementary School eat lunch in this 2017 file photo.

Holidays bring a break from schoolwork for students, but for more than a half-million Arizona children they can also mean a break from their only reliable source of a nutritious meal – the subsidized school meal. Read more»

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