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Students eating lunch at Grant Park Christian Academy. (Courtesy: Grant Park Christian Academy)

Biden, Fried poised to deny Tampa Christian school’s application to feed low-income kids

ADF attorneys represent Grant Park Christian Academy; school starts Aug. 10, yet lunch program funding remains uncertain

Wednesday, Aug 3, 2022

TAMPA, Fla. – Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys representing Grant Park Christian Academy in Tampa filed a motion Wednesday asking a federal court to halt enforcement of a Biden administration mandate that threatens to take away children’s lunches just because they attend a Christian school.

Grant Park Christian Academy begins classes Aug. 10, yet President Joe Biden and Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried are poised to deny the school’s application for funding to continue serving free meals to the 56 children enrolled. All the students come from families below the federal poverty level, and they rely every day on two nutritious meals, plus a snack, from the private school. If Grant Park Christian Academy’s application is not approved by Aug. 10, the school will not be reimbursed for each meal it serves to students.

“Chasing her own political agenda, Commissioner Fried is poised to block Grant Park Christian Academy’s school lunch funding, even though Title IX provides a religious exemption. For five years, this Christian school has received funding to provide nutritious meals to dozens of low-income children in the community,” said ADF Legal Counsel Erica Steinmiller-Perdomo. “Commissioner Fried and the Biden administration are trying to rewrite the law and ignore the exemption in an attempt to force this school to choose between violating its religious beliefs or providing lunches to children.”

The school receives funding for its school lunch program from the U.S. Department of Agriculture through the National School Lunch Program, which Fried administers. In a new change under Title IX, participating schools lose their ability to get school lunch funding unless they go along with the Biden administration’s radical expansion of “sex” to include sexual orientation and gender identity in all school operations, including restrooms, dress codes, hiring, and pronouns.

Grant Park Christian Academy’s religious beliefs, including its understanding of the nature of the human person and marriage and family, preclude it from complying with this federal mandate to substitute gender identity for biological sex in any aspect of its activities, especially when it comes to males sharing restrooms with females. Grant Park Christian Academy treats every child with dignity and respect and never turns away a hungry child from receiving a meal.

ADF attorneys filed the brief with the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida, Tampa Division in Grant Park Christian Academy v. Fried in support of the school’s temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction.

Alliance Defending Freedom is an alliance-building, non-profit legal organization committed to protecting religious freedom, free speech, parental rights, and the sanctity of life.

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