School Meals for All is Officially Funded!
Great News for Maine Kids!
On Thursday, July 1 Governor Janet Mills signed the new, two-year state budget into law, ensuring Maine students will be among the first in the nation to have equal access to school meals! Embodying our state motto, Dirigo (“I lead”), this historic moment is decades in the making and affirms, once and for all, that providing our students with full plates of food is the surest way to ensure they reach their full potential.
Less than 24 hours before, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed his state budget which contained a similar school meals for all provision, creating a fitting bicoastal bookend.
The Power of Collective Action
Full Plates is proud to have played a lead role in making school meals for all a reality, but a win this big simply couldn’t happen without the efforts and support of a broad coalition of folks who believe, as we do, that ending child hunger in Maine is an attainable goal. We’re grateful to those who signed our petition, contacted their legislators, leveraged their networks, and donated money to our cause. This victory belongs to all of us.
We owe a special debt of gratitude to:
- Our school nutrition directors who have fought tirelessly for decades to make school meals accessible to all
- Our legislative champions, Senate President Troy Jackson; House Speaker Ryan Fecteau; Assistant Senate Minority Leader Matt Pouliot; Appropriations Committee Chairs Senator Cathy Breen and Representative Teresa Pierce; Education Committee Chairs Senator Joe Rafferty and Representative Mike Brennan; and all the bill’s co-sponsors and other legislators who supported this important measure
- Our advocacy coalition partners and other organizations who used their platforms to advocate for change
- Our incredible, mission-driven lobbyists, Mike Saxl and Clara McConnell at Maine Street Solutions who developed our winning strategy
Our Work Continues….
While the enactment of this historic legislation is a huge step in the right direction, there remains much work to be done to end child hunger in Maine. Full Plates looks forward to supporting the successful implementation and ongoing funding of school meals for all—as well as the four other bills we helped pass this session—while continuing to identify and remove further obstacles in between our kids and the meals they need to thrive. We hope we can continue to count on your partnership.