Letter to the editor: Vote yes on proposition FF for free lunches to Grand County students

Proposition FF is a ballot measure that will be on the upcoming November ballot for Colorado voters. If approved, Proposition FF would operate as a grant program for school districts who choose to participate and provide free lunches for all public education students in the state of Colorado. As a school health professional, I support this measure and urge Grand County voters to put in a yes vote to help support our students and families.

With this measure, households earning over $300,000 would be limited in the number of state tax deductions that they could claim. Therefore, under Proposition FF, taxes would be raised for this group, consisting of less than 5% of Colorado’s estimated taxpayers.

Presently, the school lunch program determines eligibility for free and reduced lunches using federal poverty guidelines. For example, in order for a family of four to qualify, they must make less than $51,338. These federal guidelines do not reflect the high cost of living in Colorado or Grand County. the Massachusetts Institute of Technology living wage calculator estimates that in the state of Colorado a family of four needs around $73,000 to meet basic needs.

If approved, all kids would be eligible to have a free, healthy, school lunch. In our local district, we have a remarkable and talented team of food service professionals who provide the only healthy food that some of our students have access to in their day to day lives. Reducing barriers to kids having access to healthy foods is an important step in maintaining student wellness and keeping kids learning throughout their day. A yes vote for Proposition FF is a support vote for families and students across the state.

Tash Amick-Sullivan

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