AUGUSTA — The Maine Senate has given initial approval to a proposal designed to improve administration of federal rules so hungry children and seniors in the state can get access to nutritious food.

The Senate approved the bill by a count of 29-6 on Thursday. Supporters say the bill would improve administration of the federal Child and Adult Care Food Program in the state.

The program gives money for food at facilities such as child care centers, emergency shelters and at-risk after school programs.

Supporters of the bill say the application for the program is overly complicated and as a result it is underutilized by eligible providers.

The bill goes to the House next.

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