Zachary Glenn, a 2022 graduate of Kennewick School District and former student representative on the Kennewick board, spoke at a press conference last week held by the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) about their proposal for universal free school meals.
“Whether it’s getting a stamp on your hand, carrying paperwork to class, or simply not eating lunch, it is clear who can and can’t afford lunch,” said Glenn. “This puts a target on kids and makes lunchtime less about eating and more about who can and can’t afford lunch. As a state, let’s focus on getting students sitting in class ready to learn instead of sitting there thinking about when their next meal will arrive.” (See all of Zachary Glenn’s recorded comments.)
OSPI’s proposal asks the Legislature to invest approximately $86 million annually to ensure all students have access to breakfast and lunch at no cost. If Washington’s Legislature takes up the issue, member-adopted positions will enable WSSDA to voice support during the next legislative session. In addition to Glenn, Representative Marcus Riccelli and Senator T’wina Nobles expressed support at the press conference.
School directors interested in getting involved in advocacy on this topic should contact WSSDA Strategic Advocacy Specialist Logan Endres at email@example.com.
For more information, see OSPI’s Press Release.