House bills can help children get the meals they need in school
We are now back to school meals as usual and once again, it’s really challenging for everyone involved.
As the federation of unions representing working families in North Dakota, we know what a huge relief it was for working families to not worry about school meals while federal funding was taking care of it. Providing a basic hot meal for every kid who needed one, at no charge to the student or families, worked for everyone. It became normal. The problems we had around school meals, including things like meal shaming, and school meal debt, faded into the rear-view mirror of things any of us had to worry about.
We are now back to school meals as usual and once again, it’s really challenging for everyone involved: students, parents, grandparents, cafeteria workers, teachers, school administrators, school boards and community groups. For working families, the end of this popular program and was an unexpected financial jolt. With increased food prices, this has been difficult to fit back into family budgets, especially those with multiple children in school.
We have an incredible opportunity with House Bills 1491 and 1494, which would continue the program of no-cost meals for our students and end any lunch shaming practices, to truly invest in our legacy. Providing our kids with all the tools they need to be successful while they are at school, including proper nutrition, just makes sense.