AUGUSTA – A bill aimed at ending childhood hunger received strong support during a public hearing in the state’s Education and Cultural Affairs Committee today.
“This is an ambitious bill, but it is one that meets the scope of our challenge,” said State Senate Democratic Leader Justin Alfond of Portland, the sponsor of the measure. “When parents and communities understand the full scope of hunger in their school, they want action.”
In Maine, one out of four children, or more than 86,000, are food insecure. These numbers make Maine the most food insecure state in New England. To address this, the 126th Legislature created the Task Force to End Student Hunger.
Last year, the Task Force to End Student Hunger met to develop a five-year plan. This measure contains the legislative recommendations developed by the Task Force to End Student Hunger. The task force developed a five-year strategic plan to end student hunger include establishing a permanent Commission To End Student Hunger and providing that the full costs of school nutrition are subsidizable costs in the state education funding formula.
The bill also directs the Department of Education and the Department of Health and Human Services to collaborate on child hunger and nutrition programs in various ways.
A work session for LD 933, “An Act To Implement the Recommendations of the Task Force To End Student Hunger in Maine,” will be scheduled in the coming weeks.