Voters can make free school lunches permanent this fall
The ballot initiative proposes paying for the program by reducing tax deductions for people making more than $300,000 a year.
(from: 9News/Cole Sullivan)
DENVER — Proponents of a ballot measure to re-instate free meals for all Colorado public schools kicked off their campaign at a Denver elementary school cafeteria Thursday.
"Every child would be able to get a meal if they need it and the district would be reimbursed for the meals they serve," said Ashley Wheeland, director of public policy at Hungry Free Colorado, of the initiative the legislature asked voters to decide upon.
Federal pandemic-era funding to provide free lunches for all students expired this summer -- and most districts have reinstated pre-COVID policies of charging for meals for some students and providing free or discounted lunches for kids from lower-income families.
"When school meals were free last year, it changed things," Jefferson County High School Teacher Genevieve Bassett said. "We saw improved behaviors and increased concentration."