Background: Many students who qualify for the federal Free and Reduced Lunch Program still have to pay a fee for their lunches. For many families, even that small fee is too much. In Colorado, each school district gets to decide how they collect and cover that small fee from students who do not qualify for a free meal.
Families without the means to pay often end up in collections, or students may even choose to go hungry. Several years ago, Colorado passed a bill to remedy this by having the state cover the small fee for students in kindergarten through the 5th grade.
Summary: SB 13 would increase the number of kids from lower-income families who are able to eat lunch without an out-of-pocket cost. If this bill passes, it would mean that students who qualify for Free and Reduced Lunch would get a completely free meal. This bill would ensure that hungry kids are getting to eat and that families are not sent to collections over school lunch debt.