Effective July 1, 2023, K-12 students will be guaranteed a free breakfast and lunch every school day.
The cost of these meals will be covered by a combination of state and federal funds. Nearly $450 million in state aid is appropriated for the 2024-25 biennium.
Historically, schools have provided free and reduced-price breakfast and lunch to many students coming from families that were income qualified for certain government programs. The new law will replace this means-tested system.
To achieve universal coverage, many schools will participate in a previously optional federal program known as the Community Eligibility Provision, which allows qualifying schools to provide meals to all students, regardless of family income. Federal funds reimburse some of the meal costs to school districts depending on the schools’ poverty level. Schools that don’t qualify for the provision or would not receive a full reimbursement under CEP will continue to make use of other federal subsidies and receive state aid to cover their remaining costs.
Rep. Sydney Jordan (DFL-Mpls) and Sen. Heather Gustafson (DFL-Vadnais Heights) sponsor the law.