Olympia – State Sen. T’wina Nobles (D-28) joined the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) last week for its proposal to provide school meals at no cost to all Washington students.
“When kids don’t have to think about an empty stomach, they can focus on learning,” said Nobles. “When kids have that freedom, they are healthier, do better in school, and have better relationships with friends and family. Enabling all Washington students to eat school meals free of charge is a tremendous step forward for stronger, healthier communities.”
During the pandemic, federal waivers allowed students to receive school breakfast and lunches at no cost. With those waivers now coming to an end, an overwhelming number of students heading back to school with an expectation to pay for school meals. Being hungry is a massive hurdle for student learning. Under OSPI’s proposal, all 1.1 million students in Washington would receive school meals as part of their basic education at no charge.
“There are a lot of really powerful investments we can make,” said Nobles. “But until we fulfill the most basic of needs for these students, we really can’t expect that all students will benefit from those investments. At least, not in a way that speaks to the equity in education we’ve been striving for.”