For more information contact: Matt Privratsky 651-296-6860
Dear Neighbors and Friends,
Just yesterday, we passed a bill to increase funding for school lunches at Minnesota schools. The funding will help address a problem related to students who qualify for reduced priced lunches.
School lunches are funded through a combination of federal, state, and individual funds. ; The federal government provides $2.93 for free meals, $2.53 for reduced-price meals, and $0.28 for fully-paid school lunches. Minnesota provides 12.5 cents for each of these three categories. That means students on the reduced priced lunch plan have to make up the different.
In 2013, Legal Aid conducted a survey of Minnesota school districts and found that 15% of districts had policies in place that would refuse a student hot lunch if they could not pay. Another 53% of districts provide an alternative like a cheese sandwich for those students who could not pay for lunch. A significant amount of the students affected by this were students who qualified for reduced lunch.
The bill we passed would alleviate that problem by covering the funding gap for reduced price lunches. No student should be expected to learn while they sit in their chair going hungry. A healthy meal helps keep student focused on the thing they need to learn and not on their empty stomach.
The full report from Legal Aid can be found here. It details which schools fit into the various categories for lunch policies.
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