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Hunger Free Schools Ohio Coalition Advocates for Budget that Ensures No Child Goes Hungry at School

Hunger Free Schools Ohio Coalition Advocates for Budget that Ensures No Child Goes Hungry at School

May 31, 2023

The Hunger-Free Schools Ohio Coalition is a coalition of over 50 organizations across the state, including the American Academy of Pediatrics, Coalition of Rural and Appalachian Schools, School Nurses Association, multiple nonprofit anti-hunger organizations, small businesses, and the School Nutrition Association of Ohio. They are committed to one simple goal: ensuring no child goes hungry at school.

On Wednesday, the Coalition testified before the Ohio Senate Finance Committee urging lawmakers to prioritize funding in the state budget to support student learning and health by ensuring access to school meals free of charge for all students.

“Our budget reflects our values as Ohioans. What do we value if we do not stand for feeding our children?” said CDF-Ohio Senior Policy Associate, Katherine Ungar, who leads the Coalition said during testimony.

In her testimony on behalf of the Coalition, Ungar praised the heroic work nutrition providers undertake every day to feed our school children and punctuated the challenges these providers and other school support staff face with climbing student meal debt and having their hands tied by bureaucratic red tape that prevents many food insecure children from accessing school meals and increases stigma in the lunchroom.

“What is policymaking for, if we do not use the ample resources at our disposal to, at the very least, ensure no child goes hungry at school? I urge this committee to ensure our budget prioritizes this essential responsibility we have for all Ohio children and ensures all kids have access to at least one nutritious school meal while in school,” said Ungar.

Download the Coalition’s full testimony to learn more about the pervasiveness of child hunger in Ohio and their budget request to address it.

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