New Mexico Mayors Join to Support No-Cost Meals

3/6/23, SANTA FE, NM — The Healthy Universal School Meals for Children Act, Senate Bill 4, passed in the New Mexico state legislature today. This bill, generated from Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham’s FY24 budget proposal and sponsored by Senator Michael
Padilla, makes school meals available at no cost for every student in the state. The following is a joint statement from Mayors Tim Keller (Albuquerque), Ken Miyagishima (Las Cruces) and Alan Webber (Santa Fe), who currently represent New Mexico as members of the Mayors Alliance to End Childhood Hunger.

Our offices are on the frontlines of responding to challenges in our communities, and as mayors, we need every option available to fight childhood hunger. That’s why we supported this vital piece of legislation.

School meals are a critical lifeline for kids and their families. They are essential for the 1 in 5 children who live with hunger in New Mexico today.

We know school meals help students get the fuel they need, but the benefits don’t stop there. When kids have access to consistent, nutritious food through school meals, they can focus on learning and not their empty stomachs. They’re healthier, better able to focus in the classroom, and miss fewer days of school. And when every child has access to a healthy school meal at no cost, it leads to improved equity statewide.

This legislation will also help to ensure these critical meals are high-quality and nutritious, supporting schools in new efforts to serve local, fresh, and nourishing food that is reflective of students’ diverse cultural backgrounds.

We thank Governor Lujan Grisham, Senator Padilla, and Senator Jaramillo for their support of our state’s children.

Download the full press release