We are pleased to announce an exciting development in DC Council! Last week, Council Member and Health Committee Chair, Christina Henderson, along with 7 other members of Council, introduced a bill which would provide healthy school meals for all DC students, regardless of income.
To handle the high number of students in need of food assistance due to the COVID 19 pandemic, the Federal Government created waivers in 2020, allowing all students to receive a breakfast and lunch at school at no cost to their families. This past June, this program ended, and now many families are struggling with the additional cost of school meals for their children. Many students are not taking lunch because they are afraid of the costs impacting their families or the shame and bullying if people know they are struggling to afford a meal. In DC Schools, many schools do provide meals to all students, but that’s based on how many students need the meals there. But, there are many students who go to other schools across the district who’s families make too much to qualify for the free meal programs, but also have a tight budget, making it difficult for children to have consistent, nutritious food throughout the day.
Think about a day when you didn’t eat breakfast and maybe even skipped lunch. How was your focus? Your mood? Your ability to learn? See, studies show students who have access to healthy school meals have better behavior, focus, memory retention, and mood. So not only does healthy school meals for all ensure children are getting nutritious foods, but they improve the classroom environment for all and help give our kids the fuel they need to learn and grow!
Learn more about the campaign by watching this news report from Fox 5 DC. Then, call your Council Member and tell them you support Healthy Kids Meals for All! When you do, send us a message and let us know how it went! In the meantime, keep an eye out for more actions to help secure healthy school meals for all in DC!