Action Needed Today: School Meals for All

Action Needed Today: School Meals for All

The Connecticut Legislature has called a special session beginning Monday, November 28th. United Way of Western Connecticut, alongside End Hunger CT!, are asking that our State Representatives and Senators take up the issue of free school meals. Funding for free school meals ends on December 31, 2022, if not earlier, for districts across the state. This will leave children without access to free meals at a time when families cannot afford to add one more expense.

We are asking that you send a note TODAY to your legislators and ask that they vote YES to extend funding for free school meals for all Connecticut children through the end of the 2022-2023 school year. It’s easy to do. 

Look up your legislator by clicking here or view a list of email addresses for legislators across Western CT at the end of this blog. 

Use the form letter we’ve provided and send it off before you leave for the Thanksgiving holiday. Send us a quick note letting us know you took action!

Form Letter: 

Subject: Vote YES to School Meals for All 

Dear [REPRESENTATIVE/SENATOR], 

Every day, I see families that struggle to make ends meet, especially our state’s ALICE (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed) families.  These families often make above the federal poverty limit, but below the basic cost of living, and are not eligible for many programs that help their household thrive, like free or reduced-price meals in our schools. They live paycheck to paycheck, unable to afford basic necessities like housing, food, transportation, and child care, and find their finances strained even further due to inflation.  

Connecticut families and students need your help. During the upcoming special session, when you are looking to help support your constituents with the high cost of gas and transportation, I urge you to include an extension for the previously federally funded free and reduced-price meals in our schools that has or is about to end this December. 

According to the United Way’s ALICE in Focus: Children report, as recently as fall 2021 41% of CT households with children living paycheck to paycheck experienced food insecurity. 

During the pandemic, the USDA provided free meals to all states in the country, and participation in the school meals program increased massively.  Connecticut served 74 million meals during the 2020-2021 school year as compared to 25 million meals during the 2019-2020 school year.   

Students who eat at school have better nutrition, are ready to learn, and are not disruptive due to hunger pains. We want our kids to excel academically, particularly after the pandemic, and ensuring they have proper nutrition is the best way to make it happen. 

As we head into Thanksgiving, we are grateful that there are programs like this that help our families. However, as universal free meals end across the state, we know that food insecurity rates will rise, families will have to make tough financial decisions, and children will suffer. This is the time that our families need help more than ever. 

Thank you for your consideration of this critical initiative. 

[YOUR NAME] 

[TITLE AND WORKPLACE IF APPROPRIATE] 

 

District Title First Name Last Name Email Towns
2 Representative Raghib  Allie-Brennan raghib.allie-brennan@cga.ct.gov Bethel, Danbury
24 Senator Julie  Kushner julie.kushner@cga.ct.gov Danbury, Ridgefield, New Fairfield
26 Senator Ceci Maher No email address yet Redding, Ridgefield, Stamford, Wilton, Weston, Westport, New Canaan, Darien
27 Senator Patricia Miller Patricia.Miller@cga.ct.gov Stamford, Darien
28 Senator Tony Hwang Tony.hwang@cga.ct.gov Bethel, Newtown, Easton, Fairfield
30 Senator Stephen Harding Stephen.Harding@housegop.ct.gov Sherman, New Milford, Brookfield, Kent, Washington, Warren, New Fairfield, Salisbury, Sharon, Cornwall, Goshen, North Canaan, Litchfield, Winchester, Canaan, Morris, Torrington, Bethlehem
32 Senator Eric Berthel eric.berthel@cga.ct.gov Bethel, Brookfield, Roxbury, Washington,  Woodbury, Watertown, Oxford,
Southbury, Seymour, Bethlehem, Middlebury
36 Senator Ryan Fazio ryan.fazio@cga.ct.gov Stamford, Greenwich, New Canaan
42 Representative Keith Denning No email address yet Ridgefield, Wilton, New Canaan
64 Representative Maria Horn maria.horn@cga.ct.gov Washington, Kent, Salisbury, North Canaan, Canaan, Norfolk, Sharon, Cornwall, Goshen
66 Representative Karen  Reddington-Hughes No email address yet Warren, Morris, Bethlehem, Woodbury, Litchfield
67 Representative William  Buckbee bill.Buckbee@housegop.ct.gov New Milford
69 Representative Cindy  Harrison cindy.harrison@housegop.ct.gov Bridgewater, Roxbury, New Milford, Southbury
106 Representative Mitch Bolinsky mitch.bolinsky@housegop.ct.gov Newtown
107 Representative Marty Foncello No email address yet Bethel, Brookfield, Newtown
108 Representative Patrick Callahan patrick.callahan@housegop.ct.gov Sherman, New Fairfield, New Milford, Danbury
109 Representative Farley Santos No email address yet Danbury
110 Representative Bob Godfrey bob.godfrey@cga.ct.gov Danbury
111 Representative Aimee Berger-Girvalo aimee.berger-girvalo@cga.ct.gov Ridgefield
125 Representative Thomas O'Dea Tom.ODea@housegop.ct.gov Stamford, New Canaan, Darien
135 Representative Anne Hughes Anne.Hughes@cga.ct.gov Redding, Weston, Easton
138 Representative Rachel Chaleski No email address yet Danbury
144 Representative Hubert Delany Hubert.Delany@cga.ct.gov Stamford
145 Representative Corey Paris corey.paris@cga.ct.gov Stamford
146 Representative David Michel david.michel@cga.ct.gov Stamford
147 Representative Matt Blumenthal matt.blumenthal@cga.ct.gov Stamford
148 Representative Daniel  Fox dan.fox@cga.ct.gov Stamford
149 Representative Rachel Khanna No email address yet Stamford, Greenwich
  Speaker Matt Ritter Matthew.Ritter@cga.ct.gov Hartford
  Senator Marty  Looney Martin.Looney@cga.ct.gov New Haven