Healthy School Meals for All coalition shifts strategy with a new bill
SB22-087: Healthy Meals for All Public School Students, has been held up in the legislature due to its large fiscal note. With pandemic-era federal funding for school lunch expansions slated to end June 30, this legislation is critical to ensuring all Colorado public school students have the healthy lunch they need to thrive. With SB22-087’s future uncertain and only days left in the legislative session, the Healthy School Meals for All coalition has initiated a new strategy to secure free school lunches for all of our kids: HB22-1414.
HB22-1414 will refer the question of free school meals to Colorado voters next fall. The ballot measure will raise $100 million per year to cover the costs of the program by closing tax loopholes on those in the highest income bracket. The legislative session ends on May 11,but lawmakers still have several opportunities to take concrete action to address childhood hunger in Colorado.
The Healthy School Meals for All coalition has been working to convince both the legislature and the governor to enact a one-time extension of the Healthy School Meals for All program to ensure our kids are not adversely impacted by the uncertainty of SB22-087’s fate, and the impending federal funding cut next school year. Combined with the passage of HB22-1414 to secure school meal funding in the long-term, we can still take simple and powerful steps to make sure no Colorado child will go without a meal while in public school. Tell your legislator to support HB22-1414 today!