We are overjoyed there will be universal free breakfast and lunch for Minnesota children beginning in the new school year. Many of us have pushed for this for a long time to make this goal a reality. We are grateful to Representative Sydney Jordan and Senator Heather Gustafson for being the primary authors of this bill, the many other Minnesota House and Senate members who signed on as co-authors, Governor Walz, and the team at Hunger Solutions for their work.
This legislation shatters stigma and helps to end a cycle of shame and struggle that should have never been there in the first place. We are immensely proud of Will Lumpkins, one of our AFC youth who testified before the House Education Committee.* He shared that his experience of watching every dollar he spends for lunch at school or needing to ask a family member for money to eat separates him from his classmates. “It’s … embarrassing at times. And I don’t think a kid should ever have to feel like that.”
This program levels the field for students and gives them the fuel they need to be successful. This doesn’t just change the odds; this helps change the system.
*Will speaks at 9:05