ND AFL-CIO Supports Universal School Meals

North Dakota AFL-CIO Supports Universal School Meals

WHEREAS, proper nutrition is a necessary component of quality education; and

WHEREAS, many North Dakota students are served alternate meals or skip meals due to their
families economic conditions, even with over thirty percent of North Dakota students
participating in the Federal Free and Reduced Lunch Program; and

WHEREAS, many North Dakota families do not qualify for Free and Reduced Lunch but are still
struggling to make ends meet, and are going into debt for basic school hot lunch; and

WHEREAS, student lunch debt is a growing issue in many of our North Dakota schools; and

WHEREAS, families struggling with student lunch debt are being sent to collections agencies,
social services, served with court summons by sheriffs, and banned from student activities
including graduation ceremonies; and

WHEREAS, compulsory Free and Reduced School Lunch application as part of school
registration would increase the percentage of students receiving Free and Reduced School
Lunch, a program funded by the USDA, potentially bringing in a ten to fifteen percent increase in
Federal funding to programs based on this application; and

WHEREAS, for families currently paying for full price meals, Universal School Lunch would save
them just over five-hundred dollars per child, per year, providing financial relief and alleviate the
growing problem of accumulating student lunch debt in our schools; and

WHEREAS, students must have proper nutrition to learn at their peak potential and the
economic conditions of their family should not be a factor in their nutrition; therefore be it

RESOLVED, That the North Dakota AFL-CIO supports a policy of Universal School Meals for all
public school students in North Dakota; and, be it further

RESOLVED, That the North Dakota AFL-CIO will educate our local union memberships and
communities on the issues surrounding student lunch debt; and, be it further

RESOLVED, The North Dakota AFL-CIO, in coalition with allies, labor councils, and local
unions, will pursue a strategy to win Universal School Meals for public school students in North
Dakota.

Passed June 4th, 2020 by the 61st North Dakota AFL-CIO Convention.