What does Healthy School Meals for All Maryland mean to you and your community? Help us to amplify the message that ensuring access to school meals for all students is a necessary step toward ending hunger in our state.
"The pandemic has caused alarming spikes in childhood food insecurity that will take years to recover from. In order to address this issue, we need to continue building on what we know works in order to provide assistance to struggling families during this difficult time. Providing healthy school meals to all students would do just that by ensuring every child has access to nutritious meals they need to learn and thrive during this extended recovery process and beyond."
Luis Guardia, President, Food Research & Action Center
“Students simply cannot learn if their most basic needs are not met. If we want to truly prepare our children to succeed in life, we need to make sure that the work we are doing is focused on the well-being of the whole child. That means providing every single one of them with nutritious meals during the school day.”
John Gaddis, Superintendent, Somerset County Public Schools
“Hungry children cannot be expected to fully engage in their learning if they are distracted by their empty bellies. By ensuring that all students have access to healthy school meals, we are making a significant investment in our state’s most precious resource. Providing every child in our state with the nutritious meal their growing bodies need to thrive not only helps them be better prepared to learn, it’s also the right and humane thing to do.”
Cheryl Bost, President, Maryland State Education Association
“The impact of providing healthy school meals at no cost to students and families reaches far beyond what is seen on the surface. In our 2019 study on community eligibility, we found that students attending a Hunger-Free School in Baltimore City are nearly three times less likely to be food insecure at home, as compared to students attending similar schools that were eligible for but not using community eligibility. It’s important to note that when we have conversations about school meals, we’re talking about programs that effect the health of the entire community.”
Dr. Susan Gross, PhD, MPH, RD, LDN, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
“I am a teacher at a Maryland middle school who gets breakfast in our classrooms. I cannot begin to explain how much this balanced meal helps students and their success in my class. With having a meal in their bellies they are able to stay alert and engaged in their learning. Kids participate more, and they have their basic needs met. Even kids who are not wondering where their next meal may be coming from, still can’t ensure they have a parent home to give them a well balanced meal for breakfast. Feeding all kids breakfast ensures all kids have a better shot at success. Having this school wide, county wide, and state wide is a recipe in Maryland’s future.”
No Kid Hungry believes that every child deserves access to healthy meals during the school day and beyond. Food is the most essential school supply a child needs. With full bellies, kids can achieve higher academic outcomes. We know that healthy school meals are linked with better attendance, health and reduced behavioral health needs. Investing in our children means ensuring they are ready to learn. Food is energy, and with that energy our kids can excel. We know that this works! It’s time for Healthy School Meals for ALL of Maryland’s kids!
Ayesha B. Holmes, Director
No Kid Hungry, Maryland
“Hungry kids can’t learn. It’s time for Maryland to take this critical step to support our students by ensuring they have the fuel they need to learn during the school day and beyond!”
Julia Gross, Maryland Hunger Solutions
As the only full-time soup kitchen in Southern Maryland, we see everyday how childhood hunger impacts every aspect of a child’s life. It is a well-known fact that children who go without food on a regular basis suffer not only physical issues, but mental and emotional distress as well. The number of food-insecure families has increased at a heavy rate over the last 2 years. This is the time to ensure that every child has access to free breakfasts and lunches, to learn, to grow, to become a healthy adult.
St. Mary's Caring Soup Kitchen
"Healthy School Meals for All ensures every student has access to nutrition they need to learn and grow, without the stigma that can be attached to qualifying for free or reduced-priced meals."
Meghan Maroney, Senior Policy Associate, Center for Science in the Public Interest
"Serving school meals to all students at no cost would be a gamechanger for students, families and schools, supporting students education and health and improving school nutrition"
Alexis Bylander, Food Research & Action Center
"Children can't learn on an empty stomach and they can't live on a poor diet."
Kevin Slayton, Maryland Center on Economic Policy
"How can we expect children to learn, focus, and grow with no fuel for the neuroplastic process during their prime years for learning?"
Michael J. Wilson, Director, Maryland Hunger Solutions