Dayton proposes more school lunch funding

Roy Aker

A recently released study showing that 46 Minnesota school districts refuse hot lunch to children who have account deficits is prompting legislative action.

Rep Yvonne Selcer, DFL-Minnetonka and Sen. Jeff Hayden, DFL-Minneapolis  have introduced a bill that would simplify Minnesota's school lunch program and ensure all children have access to hot lunch at school.

About $3.5 million will be included in Gov. Mark Dayton’s supplemental budget to help alleviate the need, according to a press release from his office.

“No child in Minnesota should be denied a healthy lunch,” he said. “We cannot expect our students to succeed on an empty stomach.”

More than half of Minnesota school districts provide low-income students substitute meals, such as a cold cheese sandwich, if they are unable to pay 40 cents required for a reduced-price hot lunch, according to the report.

In addition, his education commissioner has urged school districts to take steps necessary in order to make sure all students receive a lunch.