Thank Governor Healey and the Legislature for Making School Meals for All Permanent in Massachusetts!
By starting with what happens in schools
To all who have supported the passing of this life changing legislation — thank you. Your action, your advocacy, your generosity, and your encouragement since we launched the Feed Kids Campaign in 2021 are what made School Meals for All permanent. We did it!!!
Currently, 1 in 5 households with children in Massachusetts face food insecurity. The Feed Kids Coalition and advocates across the state successfully lobbied Governor Healey and the Legislature to pass a permanent School Meals for All policy as part of the Fiscal Year 2024 budget. This provides a solution that ensures, no matter what may be happening, students have access to school breakfast and lunch.
Universal school meals — school meals available at no-cost to every student — have benefits that extend far beyond the cafeteria. Research shows when a child is well fed, they perform better in school, are at lower risk for obesity, and adjust to social situations better. Additionally, by making meal access universal, we help remove stigma around economic status and family situation—creating a more equitable and just educational environment.
This year, 5 states have continued providing universal free meals to all students, including Massachusetts. Currently, 8 states, California, Colorado, Maine, Minnesota, New Mexico, Vermont, Michigan, and Massachusetts have passed laws to make School Meals for All permanent. Over 20 states have active campaigns for School Meals for All. This campaign was instrumental in making School Meals for All permanent in Massachusetts.
“This has been an absolute game-changer for students. They are all used to having free meals and reverting to paid meals would be very detrimental to food service programs and low-income students.”
Doug Dias, Director of Finance and Operations, Marlborough Public Schools
ate school lunch daily in Oct. 2022 vs Oct. 2019