Thank Governor Healey and the Legislature for Making School Meals for All Permanent in Massachusetts!
Her campaign to uplift School Meals for All in the Massachusetts state budget began when she first took office and filed the supplemental budget proposal in January. Last week, to highlight the ongoing work being done in schools each day, Governor Healey stopped by for lunch at Hajjar Elementary School.
After passing through the cafeteria line for mashed potatoes, chicken, fruit cups, and carrots, Healey spoke with a cafeteria of 2nd graders enjoying their lunch and introduced herself as somebody who works for them, the people of Massachusetts. Project Bread’s Jennifer Lemmerman, Vice President of Public Policy, joined Governor Healey, Secretary of Education Patrick Tutwiler, and Billerica Superintendent Tim Piwowar in sitting with the students during their lunch and talking about what kinds of foods they enjoyed and their school meal experiences.
The group then moved to the library for a roundtable with 4th graders about school meals and about how the state government works. Students had the opportunity to ask Governor Healey questions and talk about diverse, female leadership in the current administration as well.
Governor Healey followed up lunch with, of course, recess! The group went outside to the basketball courts with the students for a game of HORSE, before Governor Healey gave brief remarks to the press on the importance of free school meals in making a day at school easy and fun like the experience she had at Hajjar.
“Far too many Massachusetts families are experiencing food insecurity, and we’re grateful for the hard work of organizations like Project Bread to connect those in need with food assistance and other critical resources. Our administration is committed to working with our partners to reduce food insecurity in Massachusetts, which is why we’ve proposed extending the universal school meals program, providing an off-ramp for enhanced federal SNAP benefits, and increasing funding for Food Security Infrastructure Grants and the Massachusetts Emergency Food Assistance Program.”
-Governor Maura T. Healey
Read more about the visit in the Lowell Sun.
While she was visiting Hajjar Elementary School last week, the state legislature passed her proposed supplemental budget for fiscal year 2023, confirming the additional $65 million for continuing to provide School Meals for All amidst increased participation this year. Over 80,000 additional students are eating school meals in districts where meals were not previously provided at no cost to families!
Today, Governor Healey has signed that budget, so we’re celebrating statewide the opportunity for all MA students to continue to access free school meals each day! We appreciate the leadership in the state legislature of Senate President Karen Spilka, Speaker Ron Mariano, Chair Michael Rodrigues, Chair Aaron Michlewitz, Chair Jason Lewis, Chair Denise Garlick, Senator Sal DiDomenico, and Representative Andy Vargas.
Thank Governor Healey and the state legislature for their support and action on School Meals for All!