Governor Phil Murphy signed two bills Friday that will help combat food insecurity among students across the state.
The first bill, A2368/S1677, which was sponsored by Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin, requires New Jersey schools to provide free breakfasts and lunches to students from working-class and middle-income families.
The second bill, A2365/S1928, requires school food authorities to engage in public education campaigns and develop promotional materials to educate parents about existing and expanding school meals program options. Together, the laws will help ensure equitable access to resources that simultaneously benefit children’s nutrition and support work families’ financial stability.
“Consistent access to healthy meals is a fundamental human right, a fact that became all too clear for New Jersey families as they struggled to make ends meet amid a global pandemic,” said Governor Murphy. “We’ve fought hard alongside our students’ parents to provide our children with the tools they need to grow and excel, and today we demonstrate our intent to double those efforts in the battle against food insecurity. Crucially, by launching extensive public awareness campaigns, we will work to ensure that free, nutritious meals are not only available, but easily accessible, for every New Jersey student.”