By Tanna Schut

Tanna Schut is a parent and advocate located in Pueblo, Colorado

"Here’s why we should cover the costs of school lunch for all children. Right now, kids who do qualify for free school lunches would, once again, face stigma in the lunch line. Healthy School Meals for All will remove that stigma and make sure more students get the food they need. It also will mean more students do better in school. Schools could spend less money on meal administrative costs and spend more money on nutritional and kitchen staffing.

Groups like the National Farm to School Network have been campaigning to ensure that our school meals are aligned with values like economic justice and respecting workers and educators. The measures in Colorado will lead the way, nationally, on these issues, and inspire states across the country to follow suit. Schools will be able to provide healthy meals and do more scratch cooking.

They’ll also get money to train their canteen staff in how to do it, which is an important step. I like the idea of our schools working with local farmers to source local ingredients. It will help strengthen Colorado’s economy as well as student health.

I’m glad schools are shifting their thinking about the lunches we serve our children. There’s more parent and student input, and we’re raising our voices to say healthy, local food is important to us.

Assuring healthy meals for all schoolchildren will mean one less thing standing in the way of our children’s future, so all our children can succeed."

Read the full op-ed at The Colorado Sun