Marsai Martin firmly believes that all students should have access to free lunch, and her new initiative is striving to achieve that.
Today, I’m excited to launch the #SchoolLunchForAll campaign. We've created a petition that'll make sure all K-12 students have access to free school meals, without the threat of debt + humiliation.
— Marsai Martin (@marsaimartin) July 9, 2020
Alongside these nutrition leaders, Martin is making sure that students aren’t denied access to lunch and preventing families from going into debt due to outstanding unpaid fees.
The campaign, School Lunch for All — led by The Soze Agency and Galaxy Gives — wants to “ensure that school meals are provided, free of charge, to every K-12 student in America,” according to a press release sent to The Root.
“With all the things that kids have to worry about while attending school, I believe a healthy lunch shouldn’t be one of them,” Martin said in a statement. “Kids should be able to focus on learning while at school, not whether or not they have enough money to eat.”
According to TheGrio, School Lunch for All has launched a Change.org petition to put more pressure on legislative leaders to reallocate COVID-19 relief funds to ensure that all students have access to free meals when they return to schools.
“The time has come to stop putting the burden of family income in exchange for school meals on the shoulders of our children,” Katie Wilson, Ph.D., Executive Director of the Urban School Food Alliance said in a statement.
She continued her statement outlining the benefits of free school meals stating:
“School meals provide a benefit to local economies and America’s farmers, so let’s join together and make sure they also provide a benefit to the children they were meant to serve. Make school meals a Universal free program. The money saved in administrative paperwork can be reinvested in the quality of the food and health and wellbeing of our nation’s children can be reinvested in our future. The time is now to invest in our children, it is the right thing to do.”
As free school meals have become a big debate this year in light of COVID-19 affecting student’s access to daily meals outside of the home, this petition and campaign arrive right on time.
Sign School Lunch for All’s petition here.