Eliminates copayments for school meals, supports the wellbeing of New Mexico’s kids

Santa Fe, N.M. – Today, House Bill 10 passed the House floor on a unanimous vote. Sponsored by Representative Willie Madrid (D-Chaparral) and Representative Melanie Stansbury (D-Albuquerque), House Bill 10 covers a gap in the costs of reduced-fee lunches for New Mexico students. Currently low-income students qualify for low-cost lunches but these meals are not completely free; the students and their families are responsible for a portion of the costs which can be a barrier to students receiving lunch. House Bill 10 covers those costs making school meals entirely free for eligible needy students. 

“Too many of our families are making the impossibly tough choices when it comes to where their money should go. No parent should ever have to decide which of their kids to feed or if to skip dinner themselves for their kid's sake,” said Representative Willie Madrid (D-Chaparral). “I believe serving nutritious, free food to all New Mexicans kids is a doable goal and I am proud to support this step toward ending hunger in our youngest.”

"House Bill 10 helps address systemic childhood hunger in New Mexico by expanding school lunch programs across the state," said Representative Melanie Stansbury (D-Albuquerque). "I am proud to have this bill pass unanimously out of both committees and now the House. Getting this funding into our schools is critical to helping feed needy New Mexican kids, including thousands in my own community in Albuquerque."

House Bill 10 will help New Mexico’s most needy kids not just get enough food to eat, but also increase student meal participation, reduce the stigma associated with financial hardships, help kids perform better while they are at school, and reduce the debt of school districts and charter schools.

House Bill 10 now heads to the Senate for consideration.