Today in Massachusetts, 1 in 5 households with children are food insecure, with Black, Latino, and multiracial families disproportionately impacted. Inflation and recent public health crises have shed light on this situation.
However, we know this was always a crisis. Too many people in our state have struggled to meet their most basic of human needs – food – for a long time. And kids have always been one of the groups most impacted.
Since the 1940s, child nutrition programs have been tasked with feeding as many children that are in need as possible while doing so with limited resources. For this reason, federally-reimbursed meals divide children into tiers--some kids pay full price, some kids pay reduced, and some kids receive free meals.
We choose to imagine a new system. One without paperwork to show your income; one without meal debt; one without stigma. One that is equitable. One where the focus is squarely on feeding kids quality schools meals.
Healthy school meals for all is a necessary step toward ending hunger in our state.