New Mexico is seeking to be the first state to provide Healthy School Meals for All. This means every child in New Mexico would receive healthy meals at school every day.
More than 80 percent of school-age children in New Mexico get as much as half of their daily calories from school breakfast and school lunch. No child should go hungry because their families can’t afford a nutritious meal.
When children go hungry, their academic performance and long-term development suffers. For many students, school meals might be their only meals each day. Studies show providing children with a healthy breakfast and lunch helps them be more attentive and engaged, which leads to higher attendance rates, better grades and higher graduation rates.
This initiative will provide resources our schools need to prepare healthy meals using nutritious, locally-sourced ingredients.
Heart Health Facts
- What we eat and drink matters to our heart and brain health, and a healthy diet and lifestyle are keys to preventing and managing cardiovascular disease.
- Food insecurity, a common cause of inadequate nutrition, contributes to disparities in chronic disease outcomes, especially for cardiovascular diseases.
- There is strong evidence food insecurity is associated with obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and cancer.
- Worsening socioeconomic disparities in diet quality are increasingly recognized as drivers of chronic disease disparities.
Passing Healthy School Meals For All will :
• Provide access to a free and nutritious meal for all school students;
• Support New Mexico farmers and ranchers by enabling school systems to purchase locally-sourced foods; and
• Create a sustainable, long-term funding source for healthy school meals for all.
How is it funded?
A $32-million investment will eliminate school meal costs and ensure higher quality, healthy meals for more than 309,000 New Mexico children, making sure that hunger and nutrition are never again a barrier to learning. This proposal invests in all schools, regardless of whether they qualify for free or reduced-price meals, and levels the playing field for meal quality expectations across the state, because every child deserve healthy meals.