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A Republican state senator from Minnesota voted against providing free school lunches

Despite the opposition of a Republican state senator who said he's never met a hungry kid in Minnesota, Minnesota kids will soon get free school lunches.

“I have yet to meet a person in Minnesota that is hungry,” state Senator Steve Drazkowski said before voting no on Mar. 14. “I have yet to meet a person in Minnesota that says they don’t have access to enough food to eat.”

Minnesotan children are estimated to be food insecure one out of six times, according to a fact sheet from a group supporting the bill.

“Being hungry makes learning almost impossible,” said Democratic-Farmer-Labor senator Heather Gustafson. “Let’s feed the kids.”

According to Drazkowski, the proposed program was “pure socialism.”

“Now, I should say that hunger is a relative term,” Drazkowski added. “I had a cereal bar for breakfast. I guess I’m hungry now.”

The Federal Reserve of Economic Data reports that more than 8% of children in Wabasha County, Minnesota, lived in poverty in 2021, up from about 7% the previous year.

The measure passed 38-26 despite Drazkowski's opposition, and Democratic Gov. Tim Walz signed it into law on Mar. 17. Since the approval of the law, Minnesota has joined other states in providing free meals to children, including California and Colorado.

What type of person does it take to consciously vote no on a bill that would prevent thousands of children from going hungry?


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