One of the struggles that many students have is in getting enough to eat. Sometimes, they don’t have the money for a school lunch, and they may even be denied a lunch if they aren’t sent with enough money that day.
It’s not a small problem, either. In fact, according to No Kid Hungry, it is thought that as many as 9 million children in the United States are living in homes that don’t have enough to eat. Hunger is something that can make it difficult to live from day to day.
Minnesota is now doing something about the problem, and Governor Tim Walz did something that is going to make a change.
Minnesota Governor Tim Walz has signed a law guaranteeing free breakfast and lunch for all students in the state, regardless of how much money their parents make. Tens of thousands of food-insecure kids will benefit. pic.twitter.com/500q4acTre
— More Perfect Union (@MorePerfectUS) March 17, 2023
It is the universal free meal law, and Minnesota is now joining other states who already offer complimentary breakfast and lunch for students, according to MPR News. Those other states are California, Colorado, and Maine.
Gov. Walz is truly trying to make a difference in the state of Minnesota. He has pledged that child poverty will be a thing of the past in the state.
Now that he has signed the bipartisan bill, it is one step closer to becoming a law. In a tweet, he wrote: “As a former teacher, I know firsthand that kids can’t learn on an empty stomach. When universal school meals reaches my desk — a historic, bipartisan bill — I’ll be proud to sign it into law.”
As a former teacher, I know firsthand that kids can’t learn on an empty stomach. When universal school meals reaches my desk — a historic, bipartisan bill — I’ll be proud to sign it into law.
— Governor Tim Walz (@GovTimWalz) March 14, 2023
He followed-up, saying: “It’s a historic, bipartisan win that means no kid will go hungry at school-and that Minnesota is one step closer to being the best state in the county [sic] to grow up.”
In the law, every student from kindergarten to 12th grade in Minnesota will get a free breakfast and lunch. It is due to take place in September when the new academic school year begins.
Today, I signed a bill into law providing free school breakfast and lunch for Minnesota students.
It’s a historic, bipartisan win that means no kid will go hungry at school – and that Minnesota is one step closer to being the best state in the county to grow up.
— Governor Tim Walz (@GovTimWalz) March 17, 2023
Many schools in Minnesota already receive federal funds from the National School Lunch Program. It may help, but it doesn’t cover the cost of the entire meal. The new law will work along with that national program to make up the difference. It is estimated that the state will pay about $200 million every year to ensure that students get the food they need.
Gov. Walz was an educator before he became the governor of the state. He knows that food insecurity impacts students and their ability to get everything they can out of the educational process.
He is passionate about the bill but not everybody felt the same way. According to CBS News, this included Sen. Steve Drazkowski, who said that hunger was a relative term and said: “I have yet to meet a person in Minnesota that says they don’t have access to enough food to eat.”
Although he had his say, the bill was passed anyway. In addition, there were studies that show that 10.8% of the children in Minnesota lived in poverty.
One thing is certain, many people are happy with this new law. It not only benefits children, but it also benefits those parents who do their best to care for them and don’t have the means to provide.