By Kevin Hendricks, Rio Rancho Observer
Oct. 27, 2023

U.S. Sens. Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), John Fetterman (D-Pa.) and Raphael Warnock (D-Ga.) introduced the Healthy Meals Help Kids Learn Act Thursday, legislation that would make it easier for students to access quality, nutritious school meals. The bill permanently increases the federal reimbursement level for school meals to help address funding challenges, enhance menus and increase access to locally grown food.

With New Mexico’s recent enactment of Senate Bill 4 in March, the Healthy Meals Help Kids Learn Act would help the state continue to provide free school meals for all. Senate Bill 4, known as The Healthy Universal School Meals for Children Act, made free meals at schools for every student in New Mexico a reality.

“New Mexico sent a strong message to the rest of our nation when it passed universal school meals: Every child deserves a quality education and a fair shot at success. That means no child goes hungry,” said Heinrich, chairman of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee overseeing USDA nutrition programs. “By permanently increasing the federal school meal reimbursement rate, the Healthy Meals Help Kids Learn Act is an important step toward keeping all of America’s kids fed. When we invest in our children, we invest in our future.”

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