Don’t let Maryland fall behind when it comes to feeding hungry school children

Advocates from across Maryland will come together with the Healthy School Meals for All Coalition on Thursday, Feb. 15, in Annapolis to ask lawmakers to have heart and support House Bill 696 and Senate Bill 579, which would provide equitable access to NO COST breakfast and lunch for ALL students in Maryland public schools.

These advocates will show their support on the heels of Valentine’s Day bill hearings on Healthy School Meals for All.

Maryland is currently falling behind in taking care of our children as eight other states have already passed similar legislation.

Hungry children cannot wait. The time is now to take care of our kids and their families, ensuring every student has access to a no-cost breakfast and lunch at school.

“Maryland has traditionally been a leader when it comes to our children’s education and funding for hunger-related programs, but with the current budget, this priority is falling to behind,” said Laura Hale, Maryland Director of Government Relations for American Heart Association.

“With the many wonderful programs that the Blueprint For Maryland’s Future promises to bring, advocates worry that without proper nutrition for all students that the promising legislation will not reach its full potential.”

Research shows that no-cost school meal programs improved attendance, academic performance, and decreased tardiness among participating students. It also reduces stigma and helps ensure all students are eating healthier meals every day.

“The science and data are clear, Healthy School Meals for All makes a difference for families, for children, for education,” Julia Gross, Senior Anti-Hunger Program Associate for Maryland Hunger Solutions, said. “Marylanders deserve the best when it comes to education and health. Now is the time to fund Healthy School Meals for All.”

The Healthy School Meals for All Coalition is co-chaired by the American Heart Association and Maryland Hunger Solutions, and is joined by many partner organizations.

To participate in Thursday’s event, sign up here.

For more information about Healthy School Meals for All, click here.