In her annual address at the Minister’s Alliance Martin Luther King Jr. Scholarship Breakfast, Governor Gina M. Raimondo announced the ‘No Student Hungry’ initiative. Her proposal is designed to ensure that no student in Rhode Island, from Pre-K through college, goes hungry.
More than one in five Rhode Island kids face hunger issues, living in households that lack the means to get enough nutritious food on a regular basis.
Raimondo included nearly $300,000 in her FY20 budget proposal to support this new initiative. Her budget has been sent to the State Legislature which will review it and pass a final budget. There is no guarantee that this program will be included in the final budget.
“Every Rhode Islander-regardless of their race, or religion, or zip code-deserves a fair shot,” said Raimondo. “Right now, only about half of students eligible for free or reduced breakfast actually eat breakfast at school. And as many as half of all college students say they’re going to bed hungry. So, we’re going commit to ensure that no student in Rhode Island goes hungry.”
According to the Governor’s office, the proposal requires eligible public schools to serve free breakfast and lunch to all students; requires public schools to serve breakfast after the school day starts so more students participate; makes it easier for low-income college students to qualify for SNAP; and matches federal funds so that SNAP recipients enrolled at CCRI can get financial support for things like transportation, books, and child care.