Minnesota Passes 'Universal' School Meals, Providing Free Breakfast And Lunch To All Students

February 13, 2023

The Minnesota House passed a bill offering free lunch and breakfast to all Minnesota school students, regardless of income requirements.

minnesota free school lunch

The program will guarantee one daily breakfast and lunch to every student who wants one.

"We as a state fall short of providing equal opportunities for all students without exception, and in a state with an agricultural tradition as rich as ours it is particularly unacceptable that any child go hungry," said Rep. Sydney Jordan.

Providing free meals to students would cost about $200 million annually, according to government estimates. The majority of Minnesota schools receive federal funding from the National School Lunch Program, which reimburses them for each meal served, though it doesn’t cover the cost of the entire meal.

This bill (HF5) would fill the funding gap.

"We do have some meal programs already, but a quarter of hungry kids in Minnesota schools do not qualify for those programs," said Rep. Sydney Jordan. "And so with this bill, this will ensure that every child has the tools — breakfast and lunch — to succeed in school."

Universal free meals would apply to over 600,000 Minnesota students.

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