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New Mexico free school lunches

Starting this school year, students across New Mexico will get free breakfast and lunch at their schools. Officials are hoping to change from using pre-packaged foods to using more nutritional foods from New Mexico produce that’s grown locally. Kendal Chavez, the Food and Hunger Policy Advisor for the governor, said they’re going to hold districts accountable for freshly prepared, scratch-cooked meals. Related Article: How much will free school lunch cost the state?”We’re going to invest in school meals would be we’re also going to invest in higher quality meals. The governor’s vision of this policy was really to look at school food, not just from a free perspective, but how do we elevate New Mexico’s program so that every kid, again, has access to free meals but also has access to beautiful, freshly prepared meals that they’re actually going to eat,” Chavez said. Read More: Here’s why all students will receive free meals at schoolThe universal free meals plan was passed during this legislative session for public school students. According to the education agency’s projections, around 70,000 kids across the state will no longer feel the economic impact of having to pay for meals. Ellen Bernstein, from the Albuquerque Teacher’s Federation, agrees this will help students in the long run. “For me as a teacher, if I have a kid that’s hungry, they’re not going to be OK. They’re going to act out, they’re going to be grumpy, and they’re not going to be learning,” Bernstein said. Bernstein used to be an elementary school teacher, and for her, it was common to keep snacks around for students who’d come to school hungry. “The burden that it takes off of the teachers and the families and focuses on the fact that kids that are fed, they learn better,” Bernstein said. Each school and district will receive additional reimbursement out of the state general fund to support their meal programs in the best way they see fit. The governor also increased funding over the years in the public education department for the program called New Mexico Grown. Districts that choose to purchase New Mexico produce will receive incentives. Chavez said this helps with the economic development in our state, starting with one school district in the Southeast that has chosen to purchase its meat products from New Mexico ranchers and meat processors.

Starting this school year, students across New Mexico will get free breakfast and lunch at their schools. Officials are hoping to change from using pre-packaged foods to using more nutritional foods from New Mexico produce that’s grown locally.

Kendal Chavez, the Food and Hunger Policy Advisor for the governor, said they’re going to hold districts accountable for freshly prepared, scratch-cooked meals.

Related Article: How much will free school lunch cost the state?

“We’re going to invest in school meals would be we’re also going to invest in higher quality meals. The governor’s vision of this policy was really to look at school food, not just from a free perspective, but how do we elevate New Mexico’s program so that every kid, again, has access to free meals but also has access to beautiful, freshly prepared meals that they’re actually going to eat,” Chavez said.

Read More: Here’s why all students will receive free meals at school

The universal free meals plan was passed during this legislative session for public school students. According to the education agency’s projections, around 70,000 kids across the state will no longer feel the economic impact of having to pay for meals.

Ellen Bernstein, from the Albuquerque Teacher’s Federation, agrees this will help students in the long run.

“For me as a teacher, if I have a kid that’s hungry, they’re not going to be OK. They’re going to act out, they’re going to be grumpy, and they’re not going to be learning,” Bernstein said.

Bernstein used to be an elementary school teacher, and for her, it was common to keep snacks around for students who’d come to school hungry.

“The burden that it takes off of the teachers and the families and focuses on the fact that kids that are fed, they learn better,” Bernstein said.

Each school and district will receive additional reimbursement out of the state general fund to support their meal programs in the best way they see fit. The governor also increased funding over the years in the public education department for the program called New Mexico Grown. Districts that choose to purchase New Mexico produce will receive incentives.

Chavez said this helps with the economic development in our state, starting with one school district in the Southeast that has chosen to purchase its meat products from New Mexico ranchers and meat processors.

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