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- Governor proposes funding to ensure all low income students can access school lunch
Thu, Jan 17, 2013 02:18 PM
On Jan. 10, in his State of the State address, Governor Shumlin
proposed funding to ensure that all low income students have access
to school lunch. In Vermont, like states across the nation, school
children go without eating because they do not have the money to
buy school lunch and there is no food at home. These students
struggle to concentrate and do poorly in school. Schools report
that low income students who must pay 40 cents for lunch are often
the ones going without. These are the working families who make too
much for free school meals but not enough to make ends meet.
"We've been advocating for this for the past three years," said
Marissa Parisi, executive director of Hunger Free Vermont. "We're
thrilled that the Governor understands the importance of adequate
nutrition in our children's success and applaud him for suggesting
that Vermont become the first state in the nation to take this step
that supports students, working families, and school
To ensure Vermont's economic viability, students must be
well-educated. Vermont currently spends $1.4 billion on K-12
education. The proposed funding, at a cost of $320,000, would pay
the students' share of reduced price school lunch, ensuring that
over 6,000 low income students eat a healthy lunch and are able to
fully engage in their studies. With additional meals served in
schools, the state funding will leverage an additional $390,000 in
federal funds to support school meal programs in Vermont.
Commenting on the Governor's recommendation, Secretary of
Education Armando Vilaseca said, "As a former school principal, I
know that many children go the entire school day without eating.
Hungry kids struggle to concentrate and often do poorly in school.
This small amount of funding, 40 cents a day per eligible student,
will have a huge impact."