skip to main content
skip to newscasts

Friday, March 1, 2024

Public News Service Logo
facebook instagram linkedin reddit youtube twitter
view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

As Congress and presidential candidates trade accusations over immigration reform, advocates and experts urge caution in spreading misinformation; Alabama takes new action IVF policy following controversial court decision; and central states urge caution with wildfires brewing.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

Congress reaches a deal to avoid a partial government shutdown again. Arizona Republicans want to ensure Trump remains on their state ballot and Senate Democrats reintroduce the John Lewis Voting Rights Act.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

Hard times could be ahead for rural school districts that spent federal pandemic money on teacher salaries, a former Oregon lumber community drafts a climate-action plan and West Virginians may soon buy raw milk from squeaky-clean cows.

Free Healthy School Meals for Public School Students Underway

play audio
Play

Wednesday, November 15, 2023   

After Colorado voters approved a measure to provide free meals to all public school students regardless of their ability to pay last year, 41 community-based groups across the state are working to support and promote the new program in hard-to-reach communities.

Rachel Landis, executive director of the Good Food Collective, which serves the state's Four Corners region, said school meals are one of the primary sources of calories and nutrition for a large portion of students.

"By investing in healthier school meals -- and then universal access to those -- we are ensuring that students are able to access the nutrition that allows them to learn, and to succeed," Landis contended. "And ultimately live up to their full potential as Colorado residents."

The Colorado Access Foundation and The Colorado Health Foundation have committed a combined $1.5 million dollars to promote the benefits of the state's new Healthy School Meals for All initiative. Families no longer have to enroll for free meals but groups are helping parents complete benefits applications which can help schools get additional funds. And they are encouraging parents to join local advisory boards to help shape their kids' school menus.

The new program is also expected to be a boost for Colorado's independent farmers.

Justice Onwordi, impact director for Colorado Blueprint to End Hunger, said beginning next year, schools that choose to opt in will be able to tap into ten million dollars available to buy nutrient-rich, locally sourced food.

"We're also trying to work with schools to build relationships with local producers, so that when that funding is available, more schools are encouraged to utilize that," Onwordi explained. "So they can provide more scratch cooking in their schools, and ensure they have more fresh food for the students."

Landis pointed out schools are also finding creative ways to dispel the stigma frequently associated with cafeteria food. She pointed to a successful hydroponic farm in a Durango middle school where, as a part of their science curriculum, students get to eat what they grow.

"The high school just picked that up," Landis noted. "And then in neighboring Montezuma county there's a school to farm program. They are training up the next generation of farmers, and some of that food ends up in dining room halls."

Disclosure: Colorado Blueprint to End Hunger contributes to our fund for reporting on Civil Rights, Health Issues, Hunger/Food/Nutrition, and Poverty Issues. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


get more stories like this via email
more stories
House Bill passed with an overwhelming vote of 94-6, with three abstentions. Its companion, Senate Bill 159, passed unanimously with a vote of 34-0. (Chad Robertson/Adobe Stock)

Health and Wellness

play sound

The Alabama House and Senate both passed bills this week that would help people resume in vitro fertilization and provide legal protections for provid…


Environment

play sound

It's early in the season for wildfires in Nebraska, but dozens of firefighters have already been battling a large wildfire near North Platte for …

Social Issues

play sound

A new report finds some Missouri laws and prospective laws are perceived as discriminatory regardless of their actual intent - and it outlines some bi…


Many transmission projects already follow highway corridors, but depending on the state, policy experts say laws can make it harder to add new power lines along federal interstates. (Adobe Stock)

Environment

play sound

By Frank Jossi for Energy News Network.Broadcast version by Mike Moen for Minnesota News Connection reporting for the Solutions Journalism Network-Pub…

Environment

play sound

By Claire Carlson, John Upton and Kaitlyn Trudeau for The Daily Yonder.Broadcast version by Mark Richardson for Oregon News Service for the Public …

From book bans to teacher qualifications, a new national report from the Network of Public Education examines the laws and policies that support or undermine each state's public schools and the students who attend them. (Pixabay)

Social Issues

play sound

A new Network for Public Education report grades Florida an "F" for its public school funding. As Florida lawmakers negotiate the state budget in …

Social Issues

play sound

As members of Congress and presidential candidates battle it out over immigration, a group of Nevada leaders and experts dedicated to advancing …

Social Issues

play sound

A bill in Olympia would open access to unemployment while workers are on strike, but time is running out for lawmakers to pass the legislation…

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021