Today, the House Ways and Means committee heard testimony for providing additional funding to ensure that no child is denied lunch in our public schools. This bill would provide an additional $3.519 million to the school lunch program which is equivalent to $0.40 per low-income child who is receiving a reduced school lunch.
Last month, we learned that 46 Minnesota school districts have denied students a hot and nutritious lunch if those children have insufficient funds. Another 165 school districts offer an alternative, less nutritious meal to those children who cannot pay – such as a cheese or peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Providing school lunches is necessary because we cannot expect students to learn and succeed on an empty stomach.
We need to support our working poor and their families. Many families have difficulty paying the bills and having enough money to pay for food and clothing. Children should not be turned away from a meal because of their economic status. Let’s give these students two nutritious meals per day so they don’t go hungry during the day.
The bill passed out of Ways and Means on a bipartisan vote and now goes to the House Floor for a vote of the entire body. If it is approved, we will work with the Senate to ensure that no child is denied lunch in Minnesota schools.
Please stay in touch during this year’s Legislative Session by sharing any questions, comments or other feedback. You can reach me by phone at (651) 296-4255 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Representative Lyndon Carlson