Maple Grove State Rep. Speaks About Need for Universal Free Lunch
Before the Minnesota House approved universal school meals in a 70-58 vote, Rep. Kristin Bahner (DFL-Maple Grove) spoke passionately about growing up in a home where parents struggled to pay for school lunches.
“I remember the fear, the shame of having to tell the lady I forgot my ticket because I didn’t have lunch money,” said Bahner. “This isn’t about forgetting your lunch money. This is about families who feel a stigma.”
Under the bill, the state would pay what is not covered by federal dollars, meaning no student would have to pay for breakfast or lunch.
“Those kids are in the same position I was, debating whether to ask their parents for money because they know they don’t have it,” said Bahner. “Think about those kids.”
If passed through the Senate and signed into law, Minnesota would be the fifth state to offer free lunch and breakfast to all students.
Republicans voting against the bill voiced concerns it would be fiscally irresponsible to spend money on school meals for students who can afford them.
There is a companion bill making its way through the Senate.