Let’s Cease Hunger

Marissa Glass, Journalist

Hunger is something that we all know exists but did we ever think it would strike our hometown? As of 2021 lunch and breakfast is free in schools, making it to where no one has to pay for their food anymore and will essentially help families and hopefully eliminate hunger here in the valley. 

In 2020 Coivd-19 struck the world and many Americans lost their jobs. The unemployment rate was 12.5 in Grand Junction. This made it incredibly difficult for families to afford bills and food at the same time. D51 nutrition services got grant money from a Covid-19 fund that made lunch and breakfast free temperley. During the summer there were Lunch Lizards around the valley that provided free food. Now it’s finally official, it’s free forever. 

Head of nutrition services Dan Sharp states that “ Over 50% percent of Mesa County youth qualifies for free meals. With us launching the D51 Lunch Lizard program reflects our concern to ensure we provide Mesa County youth who are struggling to meet escalating housing costs with lower wage growth,”.

As the year goes on the valley hopes to keep this change permanent as it helps so many families in need of assistance.  Just in the course of this summer the Lunch LIzzard program made 100,00 meals in the course of 8 weeks. 

In order for lunch and breakfast to stay free Sharp hopes that “Congress will authorize permanent free meals all beginning 2022-2023. But we need commutes to reach out to our senators and congress to help make this change,”.

There are so many benefits of school meals being free. It’s proven that school meals provide nutrition to kids and even help lower obesity and lower hunger rates in school. As of 2021 they’re are many new choices on the menu. 

At Fruita Monument High School many kids use free food as a benefit to them. With all hopes that Congress will pass this bill, we are already able to see the positive impacts this has had on the students. We hope this is here to stay.