Colorado Voters Pass Universal Free Lunch For Students

Norma Ordonez places a tray of grilled cheese sandwiches into an oven to warm as she prepares take-away lunches for students kept out of class because of the coronavirus at Richard Castro Elementary School early Friday, Dec. 18, 2020, in west Denver. (Photo: AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
Norma Ordonez places a tray of grilled cheese sandwiches into an oven to warm as she prepares take-away lunches for students kept out of class because of the coronavirus at Richard Castro Elementary School early Friday, Dec. 18, 2020, in west Denver. (Photo: AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

Colorado kids won’t have to go hungry in school thanks to voters who passed legislation this week that will give all public school students in the state free lunch.

Proposition FF passed with 56% of the vote in the state’s midterm election, creating the Healthy School Meals For All program.

The new program, beginning next year, will help schools pay for meals by raising $100 million a year through tax increases on those making more than $300,000 a year. Colorado’s wealthy will see their state tax deductions limited, increasing their taxable income, according to NPR.

The measure comes after the expiration of a federal program that gave universal free lunches to students across the country during the pandemic’s start.

Local nonprofit, Food to Power in Colorado Springs campaigned for the measure and hosted canvassing events.

“We just went to Colorado voters and asked them to de-stigmatize school meals and make sure that healthy school meals were available to all students, regardless of their socioeconomic status,” Patience Kabwasa, Executive Director of Food to Power, told KRDO.

California was the first state to pass legislation earlier this year to give all public school students free lunches thanks to a budget surplus.

This article originally appeared on HuffPost and has been updated.

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