SANTA FE, N.M. (KAMR/KCIT) — New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham signed Senate Bill 4 on Monday, which aims to ensure that students will have access to free and healthy meals at school, according to a news release from the Office of the Governor.

According to the release, Senate Bill 4 establishes the Healthy Hunger-Free Students Bill of Rights Act which will aim to provide free and healthy meals to all students and is now one of four other states that have signed related legislation.

“Today, New Mexico is leading the nation by not only providing free healthy school meals to every student in our state, but we’re also making sure those meals are nutritious foods that kids want to eat,” said Lujan Grisham. “When we feed our children, we’re feeding our future – these investments today will yield benefits tomorrow through generations of healthier New Mexicans.” 

The act will aim to ensure that all K-12 students have free-of-cost breakfasts and lunches beginning in the 2023-2024 school year.

“About $30 million will be used each year to cover the cost of the initiative. A rulemaking to determine the standards for healthy meals will be held this summer, with the implementation of the standards phasing in over the next two school years,” states the news release. 

The bill also includes $20 million to cover the cost of improving school kitchen infrastructure.

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