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Healthy School Meals for All ballot measure campaign kicks off in Colorado Springs

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KRDO) -- Supporters of a new initiative to ensure free, nutritious meals for all Colorado public school students, are gearing up to officially launch the campaign in Colorado Springs.

The Healthy School Meals for All ballot measure will be on the November ballot statewide. It will not only provide free, nutritious meals at all Colorado public schools, but it will also provide funding for schools to use healthy and nutritious ingredients instead of processed foods. The measure will also allocate funding for schools to purchase locally produced ingredients from farmers and ranchers.

The 'Healthy School Meals for All' ballot measure would be funded by limiting state income tax deductions for the top 3% of income earners.

With school back in session or starting up next week, some families are worried about how they're going to feed their children during the school day. When kids go hungry, experts say their academic performance and long-term development suffers.

According to organizers, '[m]ore than 60,000 kids in Colorado can’t afford school meals, but don’t qualify for free or reduced-price lunches, and 2 out of every 5 Colorado families struggle to put food on the table for their children.' Organizers add that providing students with healthy meals on campus make them more attentive and engaged in the classroom.

When temporary pandemic aid made all school meals free last year, many Colorado School Districts saw 20 to 40% more students participating in school meal programs.

Supporters will gather at 10:30 a.m. on August 15 to officially launch the campaign. The event will be held  at the Hillside Hub on 1090 S. Institute St. in Colorado Springs. There will be a voter registration drive, urban farm, and neighborhood food center.

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KRDO News

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Natasha Lynn

Natasha is a reporter for Good Morning Colorado during the week and on weekends.

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