Universal Free School Hot Lunch Resolution

North Dakota AFL-CIO Universal Free School Hot Lunch Resolution

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, North Dakota Legacy Funds earnings could be dedicated to cover the remaining costs for all students to receive a basic school hot lunch at no charge; 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 Free School Hot Lunch 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, That the North Dakota AFL-CIO, in coalition with allies, labor councils, and local unions, will pursue a strategy to win Universal Free School Hot Lunch for public school students in North Dakota.

Unanimously passed by the North Dakota AFL-CIO Executive Council on December 5th, 2019