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  • Writer's pictureMedia Logic Radio

School Meal Programs Have Funding Shortfall

Colorado lawmakers are considering ways to address a projected 24-million-dollar funding shortfall in the Healthy School Meals for All program, and grants to help districts purchase food from local farmers and ranchers could be at risk.

Mesa County School District nutrition services director Dan Sharp says serving fresh, locally sourced foods - as opposed to highly processed foods shipped cross country - gives kids the fuel they need to succeed in the classroom and beyond. Sharp said, "There’s evidence-based research that the more locally sourced our food supply is, whether we get it at the grocery store or through our school meal programs, is a higher quality and better nutritious product for our students." A new survey sponsored by Hunger Free Colorado and MAZON found that 70 percent of Republicans, 79 percent of independents and 91 percent of Democrats view the school meal program approved by voters in 2022 as favorable. The program’s success may be one reason for the budget gap. Participation in school breakfasts has grown by 35 percent across Colorado, and lunch participation is up 31 percent.


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