ASSEMBLY CONCURRENT RESOLUTION No. 115

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

221st LEGISLATURE

 

INTRODUCED FEBRUARY 12, 2024

 


 

Sponsored by:

Assemblywoman  CAROL A. MURPHY

District 7 (Burlington)

Assemblywoman  TENNILLE R. MCCOY

District 14 (Mercer and Middlesex)

Assemblyman  CRAIG J. COUGHLIN

District 19 (Middlesex)

 

Co-Sponsored by:

Assemblymen Schnall and Rodriguez

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

     Urges United States Congress to pass “Universal School Meals Program Act of 2023.”

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

     As introduced.

  


A Concurrent Resolution urging the United States Congress to pass the “Universal School Meals Program Act of 2023.”

 

Whereas, Millions of people face food insecurity every day and, before the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, five million children in the United States lived in food insecure homes; and

Whereas, The pandemic has exacerbated this problem, with the United States Department of Agriculture estimating that 12 million children in the United States lived in food insecure homes at the height of the pandemic, many of whom experienced the stress of food insecurity for the first time; and

Whereas, Families across the United States continue to struggle financially in the aftermath of the pandemic; putting food and other basic necessities out of reach for many working families; and

Whereas, Hungry children are more likely to have less energy, be more easily distracted, come to school late or miss school entirely; and

Whereas, Free and accessible school meals have been shown to reduce financial stress for students and their families, and to improve the health, educational, and behavioral outcomes of students; and

Whereas, Prior to the start of the pandemic, close to 30 million children in the country relied on free or reduced-priced breakfast and lunch offered through the United States Department of Agriculture; and

Whereas, Schools offering universal school meals during the COVID-19 pandemic have played an important role in fighting the rise in child hunger; and

Whereas, Due to significant economic disruption caused by the pandemic, the United States Department of Agriculture provided waivers of certain school meal rules, allowing school meals to be served free for all students; and

Whereas, The “Universal School Meals Program Act of 2023,” currently pending in the United States Congress, would deliver permanent relief to millions of food insecure families by providing free breakfast, lunch, dinner, and a snack to all school children regardless of their socioeconomic status; and

Whereas, The “Universal School Meals Program Act of 2023,” if enacted by the United States Congress, would eliminate school food debt and reimburse schools for all delinquent school meal debt; and

Whereas, The “Universal School Meals Program Act of 2023,” would expand the existing free school breakfast and lunch program so that every child receives a free breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snack, irrespective of income, ensuring no child is left hungry; now, therefore,

 

     Be It Resolved by the General Assembly of the State of New Jersey (the Senate concurring):

     1.    The Legislature of the State of New Jersey respectfully urges the United States Congress to pass the “Universal School Meals Program Act of 2023.”

 

     2.    Copies of this resolution, as filed with the Secretary of State, shall be transmitted by the Clerk of the General Assembly or the Secretary of the Senate to the Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, the Majority and Minority Leaders of the United States House of Representatives, and the Majority and Minority Leaders of the United States Senate, and to each member of Congress elected from New Jersey.

 

 

STATEMENT

 

      This concurrent resolution urges the United States Congress to pass the “Universal School Meals Program Act of 2023.”  This federal legislation would provide free breakfast, lunch, dinner, and a snack to all school children regardless of their socioeconomic background.  This legislation also eliminates school food debt and reimburses schools for all delinquent school meal debt.