ATLANTA –Georgia Rep. Imani Barnes (D-Tucker) recently introduced House Bill 510, or the “Healthy Start” bill, to provide free quality and healthy meals to all students enrolled in a public school in Georgia.
“The ‘Healthy Start’ bill would ease the burden and stress on parents and guardians, and it would mirror the support these families received during the COVID-19 pandemic public health emergency,” said Barnes. “Families were left scrambling after the pandemic-era federal meal program ended last fall, and this legislation would ensure that every student, regardless of their family’s income, would have access to two healthy meals a day.”
The “Healthy Start” bill would provide free breakfast and lunch for all students attending public schools in the state of Georgia under the Quality Basic Education Act. The State Board of Education (BOE) would annually determine the amount of state funds needed to provide a state-wide school lunch program to offer quality and healthy meals without charge. The BOE would also provide funding for food and nutrition personnel for local school systems. Finally, this legislation would encourage the use of Georgia grown products in school cafeterias.
This legislation has been assigned to the House Education Committee for its consideration.
For more information on HB 510, please click here.
Rep. Barnes represents District 86, which includes portions of DeKalb County. She was elected to the House of Representatives in 2022 and currently serves on the Higher Education, Small Business Development and Technology and Infrastructure committees.
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