Advocate for Change

Healthy School Meals for All

For two years during the pandemic, public schools received federal funds to provide lunch and breakfast to all students free of charge. Several New England states, including Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maine and Vermont, have continued this program with state funding after the federal program ended in September 2022. This has ensured that their students have access to the nutritious food necessary for good health and academic achievement.

In Rhode Island, parents must once again pay for school meals based on household income, despite 41% of households with children facing food insecurity.

The Food Bank is working in coalition with other advocates to pass legislation that would create a healthy school meals for all program for all Rhode Island students for the 2023—2024 school year. With an investment of state funds, school meals could once again be offered free-of-charge to all students in Rhode Island.

Benefits of Providing Healthy Meals to All Students

  • Increases the number of students that participate
  • Decreases stigma for children from low-income families
  • Reduces the prevalence of child hunger and food insecurity
  • Improves learning and health outcomes
  • Eliminates unpaid school meal debt for parents


Why support Healthy School Meals for All

Healthy School Meals Fact Sheet

Watch the Healthy School Meals Town Hall

Support the Legislation

If you believe all Rhode Island children deserve the nutrition needed to excel at school, let your legislators know:

Additional Legislation We Support

There are a number of other bills introduced at the General Assembly this year intended to combat food insecurity. We thank the bill sponsors for their support!

Description Bill Numbers Hearing Date
Legislation that would provide free school lunch and breakfast. Representative Caldwell (H5639)

Read the Food Bank’s testimony.

Representative Tanzi (H6007)

Read the Food Bank’s testimony.

Wednesday, April 26, 2023
Senator Acosta (S71); Senator Cano (S68)
Legislation to provide an additional $2 Million to support the Rhode Island Community Food Bank. Representative Morales (H6124)

Read the Food Bank’s testimony.

Thursday,    April 27, 2023
Legislation to provide a tax credit for food donations. Governor McKee’s proposed FY24 budget (H5200)
Senator DiMario (S517)
Representative McEntee (H5803)

Read the Food Bank’s testimony.

Thursday,    April 27, 2023
Resolution thanking the Rhode Island Community Food Bank and local food pantries for their hard work Representative Morales (H5352)
Legislation directing the state to pay an additional $95/month in Supplemental SNAP benefits through December 2023 Representative Morales (H5799)

Read the Food Bank’s testimony.