New Mexico’s new law provides free meals for students from all economic backgrounds. This allows them to focus on their studies, not their stomachs.

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D) on Monday signed The legislation, which ensures that more than $22 million will go toward free food for all K-12 students at public schools, regardless of their parents’ income.

New Mexico joins Four more states ― California, Colorado, Maine and Minnesota ― in passing a permanent universal meals program for students. A few others already have meal policies that will be expiring this year or next, but Nevada legislators are able to repeal them. Are you considering a bill? To continue to provide free food through 2025

“When we feed our children, we’re feeding our future,” Grisham Statement. “These investments today will yield benefits tomorrow through generations of healthier New Mexicans.”

According to data from the state education department, around 309,000 New Mexico students currently qualify for free or reduced-price lunches under the National School Lunch Program. The new law could impact around 70,000 children who would otherwise have to pay. cited in The Associated Press.

Locally grown produce is also the focus of the new law. According to the AP, nearly 170 local farmers, ranchers, and food businesses sell locally-produced goods to schools in 19 New Mexico county.

Minnesota Governor. Tim Walz (D), who signed a similar bill, guaranteed free school meals to all children. Video shows children hugging Walz following the signing.

While New Mexico’s free meals bill passed unanimously in the state’s House and Senate, some Republican lawmakers in Minnesota were more skeptical.

“I have yet to meet a person in Minnesota that is hungry,” state Sen. Steve Drazkowski (R) Before voting against the legislation, St. Paul was present. “I have yet to meet a person in Minnesota that says they don’t have access to enough food to eat.”

Drazkowski represents Wabasha County. In 2021, 8% of all children lived in povertyAccording to data sourced by the U.S. Census Bureau, it is now at 7%, an increase from the previous year.

New Mexico’s new law takes effect July 1.