A historic moment for Massachusetts Kids

Thank Governor Healey and the Legislature for Making School Meals for All Permanent in Massachusetts!

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Hearing for "School Meals for All" scheduled, bill faces critical moment

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Tuesday, January 4, 2022 is a critical moment for School Meals for All

Our Universal school meals legislation, "School Meals for All",  to make school meals available at no-cost to every student in Massachusetts heads for a cricital moment. And we need your help. 

The Joint Committee on Education will hear testimonies on Tuesday, January 4, 2022 on whether this bill will move forward. 

Now is the time for you to make some noise! This is our small window of opportunity to influence whether School Meal for All will get one step closer to becoming a reality for kids across the Commonwealth.

If the Commitee recommends the bill:

  • Favorably: We are one step closer to School Meals for All becoming enacted into law.
  • Unfavorably: We will refile the bill next legislative cycle and try again. 

What kids stand to lose

Federal pandemic waivers allowing our state to serve free meals to all students expire at the end of this school year, and if the Committee doesn’t vote to favorably on School Meals for All, many Massachusetts children who relied on universal school meals as one of their their primary sources of nutrition during the pandemic will go hungry.

Young girl looks at the camera at a cafeteria table while taking a bite of a sandwich

We need you to act and tell the Massachusetts legislature to prevent a child hunger crisis in our state. Committee hearings are an important part of the legislative process because they offer an opportunity for legislators to hear directly from their constituents on legislation that impacts their community. 

Get Involved

How You Can Help

  1. Complete this quick action alert or text FEEDKIDS to 52866. Just press "Send" to ask your legislators to support School Meals for All on Tuesday, January 4.
  2. Share your personal story about school meals. Stories shape how lawmakers view hunger by connecting them on a personal level to the issue. Whether you personally ate free school meals or have seen how they have helped students or children in your school/community, your story has the ability to change a legislators mind.
  3. Submit written testimony: Legislators review written testimony as the formal record of support for a bill. This is an opportunity for you to get your perspective on record, either personally or on behalf of your organization, community group, or workplace. Testimony can be as short as one page! This template can help you format your testimony
  4. Raise awareness with a letter to the editor: Letters to the editor are an important tool in changing the conversation around social justice issues, and easy to submit. We’ve made it simple and pre-drafted letters for you--just use this template to submit a letter to your local paper.
  5. Post on social media. Use this toolkit to raise public awareness about the need for school meal reform here. Be sure to use the hashtag #FeedKidsMA and #SchoolMeals4All

Quick overview

What's the bill: An Act Relative to Universal School Meals?

School Meals for All will ensure that every child can receive a breakfast or lunch at school, at no cost to them and with no requirement to prove need. It will eliminate the traditional meal system that divides students by household income into three groups- —free, reduced-price, and full price —and stigmatizes them among their peers. 

This system is broken, and it doesn’t meet the needs of our state’s children. As of 2019, in Massachusetts, 26% of food-insecure children are not eligible for free or reduced-price school meals. This means that thousands of children go hungry during the school day, or accrue meal debts that their households cannot pay. For those children that do qualify for subsidized meals, the stigma of being labeled low-income can also prevent them from eating.

The benefits of school meals on a child's well-being are clear. Without access to school meals, a child’s long-term development can be interrupted, and many students experience severe health consequences that are the hallmark of hunger and malnutrition. School Meals for All is the only way to ensure that every child has access to the nutrition they need to be healthy. This legislation would fundamentally change our school meal system, making meals an integral part of the school day. They are an investment in the health and wellbeing of the children of Massachusetts. 

We are grateful to partner with you in the fight against hunger in Massachusetts. Please email actionteam@projectbread.org if you’d like to get more involved.

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