Sen. Troy Jackson introduces bills to address child hunger, development

The initiative called the Kids First plan.
(Gray tv)
Updated: May. 20, 2021 at 6:12 PM EDT
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AUGUSTA, Maine (WABI) - Senate President Troy Jackson is introducing legislation to address child hunger and development in Maine.

It’s called the Kids First plan.

One bill addresses student hunger through expanding access to free school meals.

Another supports children’s healthy development and school success.

Jackson says one in six Maine children lacks access to reliable nutrition and one in five live in a childcare desert.

“Families shouldn’t have to search high and low for safe and quality, affordable child care. Making sure that all Maine children have access to free, universal school meals is not just the right thing to do, but studies show it improves the academic outcome, attendance, and so much more that’s hard to quantify,” said Jackson.

Those in favor of the initiative fear what will happen when the national school lunch program ends.

Jackson says they know this will have a significant cost.

They aren’t sure what those exact numbers are at this time but say the investment would create endless benefits.

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