NewsCovering Colorado


Local food bank says free school lunch program is helping families

Proposition FF, passed in 2022, allows every public school student to get breakfast and lunch for free
Posted at 6:26 PM, Feb 06, 2024
and last updated 2024-02-06 20:26:42-05

COLORADO SPRINGS — It's been more than a year since Colorado voters approved Proposition FF, a program that allows every public school student in Colorado to get lunch for free. Now, a local food bank is saying it's helped local families.

"We've gotten a lot of feedback, and people are excited," said the Food Service Coordinator at Solid Rock Community Food Center Yevgeniya Tsyganok. "We have a single mother, who says 'I have three kids, that saves me $60 a month'. So she's not worried about having to feed her kids at school, or keep her electricity on".

Proposition FF, also called theHealthy School Meals for All program, is being paid for by some of the state's richest residents. Colorado taxpayers making more than $300,000 per year will see their state tax deductions limited, increasing their taxable income.

"If inmates can get fed, so should our kids," continued Tsyganok.

Samantha Lawrence, who spends her free time volunteering at Solid Rock, says she has enough to worry about as a mom. She's happy that her daughter having to skip meals at school is a thing of
the past.

"She eats every day, because before she would have to skip out on eating," said Lawrence. "Kids need to eat. They shouldn't have to be at school hungry all day because they can't afford lunch".

"It's very crucial to the kids' mental health because they don't have to worry about 'oh I might not be able to get food and look bad', so it creates equality amongst all the kids now," said Tsyganok.

Next year, the program will allocate more money to school districts so they can give raises to kitchen staff, and buy more locally sourced food.


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