Colorado Voted On Student Hunger This Midterm – And Didn’t Disappoint [OPINION]


This school year, the federal government has abruptly abandoned every student in American public schools after terminating funding that let every kid eat lunch for free. In the 2022 midterms, Healthy School Meals for All calls for the end of the public school student’s struggle to eat. 

For 2 years, 40% of Colorado families met the requirements for their students to get free or reduced school meals from the state. Thanks to support from the national level, every student in the US knew they had a free meal waiting for them at school. While many families have bounced back with the country’s return to post-pandemic life, 21% of Grandview’s student body and 33% of Colorado students still meet the state’s requirements for free or reduced lunch with 29 public schools in Colorado having more than 90% of their students get free school meals. It is clear that Colorado families still need help. 

Proposition FF gives any public school in Colorado the chance to give all of its students’ free lunch by increasing the income tax on anyone who makes over $300,000 a year. If a school or district wants to apply the new bill, Healthy School Meals for All will use the money from increased income taxes to pay school meal providers for student lunches before it gets to schools, acting as the middleman between schools and food producers. 

The money from income taxes also allows the program to provide grants to school providers that encourage purchasing Colorado grown and processed products, increases the wages of the staff that prepare and serve school meals, and allow them to receive support – such as training and equipment – in providing students with basic, nutritious meals. The bill will be up and running in 2024 and fuels collaboration between schools, communities, and local food providers.

55% of Colorado voters advocated for their local student’s hunger, allowing the proposition to pass. The only other states brave enough to put aside their differences and pass a permanent bill that provides students with dependable, free meals are California and Maine, with Colorado’s student needs fitting right with the two states’. 58.8% of California and 34.9% of Maine’s public school students meet their state requirements to get help with food security. 8 other states are working to get a proposition like FF to their voters but missed the mark this year. 

Colorado, California, and Maine have led the way for the revival of politics where voters look to see how we can all come together to change the lives of underrepresented individuals. Adults in these three states don’t have to wait in lunch lines anymore or worry about eating enough to pass the test they have next period, but they protect the kids who do.