Cambridge City

Policy Order
POR 2021 #26
Order Adopted
Feb 8, 2021 5:30 PM

Support for Universal School Meals


Department:City Clerk's Office, AMSponsors:Vice Mayor Alanna Mallon, Councillor Marc C. McGovern, Mayor Sumbul Siddiqui
Category:Policy Order


  1. Printout



The cost of school meals for low-income children has long been a barrier to proper nutrition, and as the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated hunger, 14.9% of children in Middlesex County are now experiencing food insecurity; and




Schools have traditionally used means testing to determine who qualifies for school lunch, but means testing can be invasive, and fails to capture and address the needs of students whose families barely exceed income limits, and who struggle to pay for even reduced price school meals; and




As schools have shifted to online learning, school meal sites that are open to everyone have been created to ensure students do not go hungry, and have successfully demonstrated that means testing is not necessary; and




The recently introduced HD.1161 and SD.519, An Act Relative to Universal School Meals, would strip away means testing in schools and make school meals free to all students; and




Having reliable access to free school meals will not only enhance a child’s academic performance, but protect their physical and mental health as well, while removing the stigma around students’ economic status, creating a more equitable educational environment; now therefore be it




That the City Council go on record supporting HD.1161 and SD.519, An Act Relative to Universal School Meals; and be it further




That the City Clerk be and hereby is requested to forward suitably engrossed copies of this resolution to the entire Cambridge state delegation on behalf of the City Council.


Meeting History

Feb 8, 2021 5:30 PM Video City Council Regular Meeting
draft Draft
YEAS:Dennis J. Carlone, Patricia Nolan, Jivan Sobrinho-Wheeler, Alanna Mallon, Marc C. McGovern, Sumbul Siddiqui, E. Denise Simmons, Timothy J. Toomey, Quinton Zondervan