We could not be more excited to share with you our plans for a state-level legislative campaign in support of universal free school meals for all Massachusetts students!
Before the pandemic, less than half of low-income students ate both breakfast and lunch daily. Because cost and stigma are two of the major barriers to students accessing the meals they need at school, state legislation requiring universal free school meals in Massachusetts would allow every student to access the nutrition they need during the school day. Schools adopting universal school meals saw higher participation by removing these barriers and guaranteeing every child has greater access to school meals.
As a result of flexibilities granted in response to the pandemic, every student in Massachusetts currently has access to free school meals. The focus has turned from income verifications and paperwork to simply ensuring that every child has the nutrition that they need. This barrier was temporarily broken down at the federal level because this crisis put a spotlight on the need to ensure the right to the most basic of necessities – food – for all kids.
As we work toward recovery from this crisis and beyond, we cannot let this barrier go back up. We have an opportunity to ensure that all students continue to receive the nutrition they need while they are in school – ending stigma, supporting school nutrition programs, and encouraging success for Massachusetts students.
For this campaign to be successful, we’re going to need YOUR voice. Whether you’re part of an organization, involved in a community group or just an interested individuals, we want you to be part of this bold, exciting campaign.
On Wednesday, November 18th, Project Bread joined with over 90 stakeholders, Representative Andy Vargas, Dr. Ron Klineman, the Chief of Pediatrics at Mass General, and Chetna Naimi of Codman Academy to launch our campaign to ensure free school meals for all students in Massachusetts.
Did you miss the Town Hall to learn how you can be involved in the campaign?