This comment is from Cathy Davis of Jericho, Chair of the Hunger Free Vermont Board of Directors, and 15 companies and organizations, listed below, have signed this comment.

Vermont families with children were five times more likely to go hungry in 2021, according to a University of Vermont survey. And as the Covid-19 pandemic continues to impact long-term incomes and economies, child nutrition for many is taken care of in one place: school.

As the pandemic spread, the federal government stepped in with waivers that allowed all children to eat breakfast and lunch at school at no cost to their families. Those waivers are set to expire in June, and child hunger is still a constant threat for far too many Vermonters.

Why do we think of taking food away from our children when they still need it?

The Vermont House Education Committee is dig in a ticket, H.32, this would require all schools to provide two meals a day free of charge to each student, making school meals an educational expense, as it should be.

We hope that the committee and all legislators will support this bill.

You might be wondering, “How does free breakfast and lunch for Vermont students impact the economy, the business world, and myself?” The answer is simple: well-nourished children can more easily develop, grow and learn.

By allowing them to sit in class without feeling hungry or brain foggy, we help students succeed in their studies and eventually join – and lead – the Vermont workforce.

As business owners, we seek every advantage we can find these days. Being able to recruit workers to Vermont by telling them that their children are getting a great education here, and that they will be nurtured and focused because our schools provide healthy meals, is a big plus. These meals, which include many local foods, are offered to every student, every day, and would make a difference to our businesses.

When parents or guardians aren’t stressed about preparing their children’s meals in the morning or remembering to top up their school lunch accounts, an important item is taken off their own plates.

And when our Vermont students are treated fairly and don’t have to deal with stigma in the cafeteria, they can learn better and focus on their passions, making them more likely to succeed in school and later. in the labor market.

Universal School Lunches are good for students, good for business and good for Vermont – we hope the Vermont Legislature will pass it this year.

We invite you to add your name to the list of companies and organizations who have pledged to support universal school meals.

By linking to this comment:

The Abbey Group, Enosburg Falls

The Alchemist, Stowe

Cabot Creamery, Waitsfield

Coop Onion River City Market, Burlington

Clean Return Asset Management, Norwich

CW Creative, Bar

Forward Philanthropy, Montpellier

Grass Cattle Business, Charlotte

Groennfell Meadery, St. Albans

Vermont Hotel, Burlington

King Arthur Baking, Norwich

Lake Champlain Chamber of Commerce

Middlebury Health Food Cooperative, Middlebury

National Life Group, Montpellier

Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility