LISTEN LIVE KPR - On Air: Listen Live to classical, jazz and NPR news Schedule LATEST
NEWSCAST
KPR 2 - On Air: Listen live to KPR's all talk-radio service, KPR2 Recordings

Share this page              

Universal free lunch ballot measure passes easily in Colorado

A student prepares lunch in the cafeteria during the first day of school at Stamford High School on September 08, 2020 in Stamford, Connecticut.

Colorado voters approved a ballot measure to provide free meals for all public school students, according to a call from The Associated Press.

By a comfortable 55 percent to 45 percent margin, they voted to create a program to provide those meals and help schools pay for them, according to election results.

The measure will help schools pay for the meals by raising $100 million a year by increasing taxes on the state's richest residents. Those making more than $300,000 a year will see their state tax deductions limited, increasing their taxable income.

The vote comes after the expiration of a federal program for universal free lunch started during the pandemic. That left states scrambling to restore funding.

Backers say nearly 70,000 Colorado kids can't afford school meals but do not qualify for free or reduced-price school meals either.

"I believe every kid should eat, no matter what income their parents have," said Maria Olvera, a voter and mother of a school-age daughter in Westminster, noting food is getting pretty expensive.

"No kid should be left behind," she said.

"This is a massive victory for hungry children," said Ashley Wheeland of Hunger Free Colorado.

The measure will also fund pay increases for frontline school cafeteria workers, helping deal with staff shortages and would incentivize schools to buy Colorado products.

There was no organized opposition to the measure. But critics said the program was unnecessary and too expensive. Some questioned whether free meals for all was needed, especially since low-income students will keep receiving free meals under current law.

More Election 2022 coverage

Copyright 2022 CPR News. To see more, visit CPR News.

Tower Frequencies

91.5 FM KANU Lawrence, Topeka, Kansas City
96.1 FM K241AR Lawrence (KPR2)
89.7 FM KANH Emporia
99.5 FM K258BT Manhattan
97.9 FM K250AY Manhattan (KPR2)
91.3 FM  KANV Junction City, Olsburg
89.9 FM K210CR Atchison
90.3 FM KANQ Chanute

See the Coverage Map for more details

Contact Us

Kansas Public Radio
1120 West 11th Street
Lawrence, KS 66044
Download Map
785-864-4530 (Main Line)
888-577-5268 (Toll Free)
contact@kansaspublicradio.org