Children hug Minnesota Governor Tim Walz after signing the free school meals law
Children and parents in Minnesota will no longer have to worry about paying for school meals thanks to a new law that guarantees free school meals to all children in the state.
Governor Tim Walz (D) signed the bill into law on Friday to cheers and hugs from some of the children who will benefit from the program.
The new law provides free breakfast and lunch to all K-12 students, regardless of their parents’ income.
“This is a historic, bipartisan victory that means no child will go hungry in school — and Minnesota is poised to be the best state in the nation to grow up in,” Walz said in a statement. .
The bill has drawn the ire of Republican Senator Steve Drazkowski, who argued on Tuesday that “hunger is a relative term” in his opposition to child feeding.
“I have yet to meet a person in Minnesota who is hungry,” Drazkowski said on the Senate floor in St. Paul before voting against the legislation. “I have yet to meet a person in Minnesota who says they don’t have enough food to eat.”
Drazkowski represents Wabasha County, where more than 8% of children lived in poverty in 2021, up from about 7% the year before, according to Federal Reserve Economic Data.
Lieutenant Governor Peggy Flanagan spoke about her own experiences growing up with food insecurity in a rebuke to Drazkowski.
“To our decision makers who believe they have never met someone who is or has been hungry – Hello, my name is Peggy Flanagan and I was one in six of those kids in Minnesota who went hungry,” she said.
Minnesota is now joining other states, including Maine, California and Colorado, in offering free meals to children.
The Huffington Gt