Legislation seeks to provide free breakfast and lunch at all Massachusetts schools
Last week State Senator Sal DiDomenico teamed up with Project Bread, a nationally recognized anti-hunger organization, to launch a statewide campaign to pass An Act relative to universal school meals. This legislation, which was filed in the Senate by DiDomenico and in the House by Representative Andres Vargas, would provide free breakfast and lunch to every child in a Massachusetts school. Senator DiDomenico was joined at the event by Representative Vargas, dozens of other elected officials, anti-hunger advocates, educators and a video message from Congressman Jim McGovern.
Thankfully, schools across the state have been providing universal school meals throughout the pandemic because costs and paperwork for this program were temporarily footed by the federal government. In 2022 federal support for the program was cut off, but Senator DiDomenico secured enough funding in last year’s state budget to continue funding free school meals throughout the Commonwealth for the current school year. The Senate and House must pass An Act relative to universal school meals (SD.1013 and HD.766) to continue providing free breakfast and lunch at Massachusetts schools indefinitely.
“We have heard time and again from educators, advocates, and parents, that kids cannot learn when they are hungry,” said Senator DiDomenico, who is Assistant Majority Leader of the Massachusetts Senate. “Providing free breakfast and lunch in schools will empower all our students to study, focus, and live up to their full potential. It is past time, in the year 2023, that we finally pass my commonsense bill into law and ensure no child will ever go hungry in a Massachusetts school again.”
This program has been a massive success in Massachusetts over the past two school years. Over 50,000 more students were eating lunch daily when costs were lifted, which allowed them to focus on class and relieved a financial burden from their parents. This is a crucial program, especially as costs for housing, transportation, healthcare and more have been rising. Passing this legislation into law is critical for the well-being of our children and working families throughout the Commonwealth.