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.”
In addition to ensuring access to free school meals, the legislature is also making the following investments in FY2023:
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.
The MA Legislature included a 1-year extension of free School Meals for All in their budget for the 2022-2023 school year. As it heads to the Governor's desk, please urge him to sign it!