Governor cites universal free school meals as legislative priority

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham spoke at the 5th annual Bloomberg American Health Summit in Philadelphia Tuesday where she said “in New Mexico, starting right now, no one pays for a meal in school.” The statement was said to a roomful of applause, however it is not accurate. “Free school lunches for all New Mexico K-12 […]

Governor cites universal free school meals as legislative priority

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham spoke at the 5th annual Bloomberg American Health Summit in Philadelphia Tuesday where she said “in New Mexico, starting right now, no one pays for a meal in school.”

The statement was said to a roomful of applause, however it is not accurate.

“Free school lunches for all New Mexico K-12 students will be part of the governor’s agenda that she will pursue in the upcoming legislative session,” spokeswoman Nora Meyers Sackett said. “For the past two school years, federal funding waivers enabled all students to eat for free – the governor’s initiative will ensure that every New Mexico student has access to free and healthy, high quality school meals by covering the price of breakfast and lunch for tens of thousands of students that currently do not qualify for free or reduced-price meals.”

As the details have not been made public, Albuquerque Public Schools spokeswoman Monica Armenta said that APS “supports programs intended to cover meal costs for all students.”

APS currently has about 45,000 students of about 89,000 students who qualify for free or reduced meals, Armenta said.

Statewide, about 75 percent of students qualify for free school meals, according to Public School Review.

The 2023 legislative session begins Jan. 17 with legislation pre-filing between Jan. 3 and Jan. 13.

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