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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Massachusetts Legislature Approves Budget Extending School Meals for All


The Massachusetts Legislature just took action to ensure 400,000 kids in our state will not lose access to free school meals.

Project Bread applauds the legislature for investing $110 million to extend free school meals statewide through the 2022-2023 academic year as part of its Fiscal Year (FY) 2023 budget approved today. 

“Families across the Commonwealth have been hit hard by the pandemic, and free school meals have been a lifeline to many,” says Erin McAleer, President and CEO of Project Bread. "Free school meals can save a household up to $1,200 per year per student. This investment means another year of supporting children’s personal and academic success, ensuring positive school meal experiences where all children can access proper nutrition. This also represents support for our hard-working school nutrition departments who have worked unendingly the last two years to keep kids fed. We are thankful to our partners in the legislature, particularly Representative Vargas and Senator DiDomenico, who have long been advocates for feeding children in Massachusetts, as well as Speaker Mariano and Senate President Spilka and the members of the conference committee."

And there's more...

In addition to ensuring access to free school meals, the legislature is also making the following investments in FY2023:

  • $900,000 for Project Bread’s FoodSource Hotline to better support individuals and families seeking food assistance and connect more eligible households to federal nutrition programs.
  • $700,000 for Project Bread’s Child Nutrition Outreach Program to support schools and community programs to better serve children by increasing access to school and summer meals.
  • Legislative language on a Common Application Portal to require state agencies to develop a streamlined process for people applying for basic needs benefits in Massachusetts. This will become state law and have a profound impact on closing the gap in those eligible for assistance and those receiving it in FY 2023 and beyond.
  • $12 million for the Healthy Incentives Program to boost the purchasing power of households receiving Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits to buy local fruits and vegetables.
  • A 10% increase to Transitional Aid for Families with Dependent Children and Elderly, Disabled and Children to ensure fewer families live in deep poverty and are able to purchase everyday necessities starting in October.

Next Steps

The FY 2023 budget now heads to Governor Baker’s desk where he will have the option to sign it all into law, veto it, or sign most of it and veto sections of the bill. We urge him to maintain all the provisions above to ensure Massachusetts can recovery equitably and ensure no one in our state goes hungry.

Take Action

Join us in calling on Governor Baker to sign the FY 2023 budget with these important investments in reducing food insecurity.

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