New Poll Shows Widespread Support for Healthy School Meals for All Illinois Students

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Education

Healthy School Meals for All Kids, a coalition dedicated to ensuring all Illinois students have access to free school meals, released a new poll showing strong support for providing free breakfast and lunch among voters. The poll found that funding free school meals in the Fiscal Year 2025 budget is the top priority for Illinois voters when compared with other legislative budget priorities proposed this session, with a majority of respondents saying it was either their first or second funding choice. The poll found that funding free school meals for all students received the majority of support across Illinois and among all ages. Sixty-four percent of all Illinoisans support it, including 84% of those in the City of Chicago, 62% of those in the Collar counties, 56% of those downstate, and 74% of those between the ages of 18-44. Funding healthy school meals for all kids receives bipartisan support, with 81% of Democrats, 55% of Independents, and 52% of Republicans. 60% of voters said they’d be more likely to vote for their legislator if they support funding the initiative.  Eight other states, including neighboring Minnesota and Michigan, already have universal school meals. Additional states, including New Jersey and New York, are building up to it in the next few years. Food insecurity is a problem facing communities all across Illinois – whether urban, suburban, or rural, and making free school meals available to all students will help those in every corner of our state. To learn more, visit

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