SENATE MEMORIAL 10
54th legislature - STATE OF NEW MEXICO - second session, 2020
REQUESTING THE PUBLIC EDUCATION DEPARTMENT TO CONVENE A WORKING GROUP TO STUDY REPACKAGING SCHOOL MEALS FOR DONATION TO STUDENTS.
WHEREAS, New Mexico's children have the highest rate in the United States of food insecurity, which is limited or uncertain access to nutritionally adequate food necessary for an active and healthy life; and
WHEREAS, studies have shown that children who live in households experiencing food insecurity are more likely to exhibit behavioral, emotional and academic problems in school, resulting in school suspension, repeating a grade, poor engagement with their studies, referrals to a psychologist, difficulty getting along with other children, aggression, anxiety and lower arithmetic scores; and
WHEREAS, children who eat regular nutritious meals during childhood receive immediate benefits in health, well-being and academic performance as well as improved outcomes in overall health and reduced risk of chronic disease later in life; and
WHEREAS, approximately thirty-one percent of the overall food supply is wasted in the United States; and
WHEREAS, in 2015, the United States department of agriculture and the United States environmental protection agency set a national food waste reduction goal of fifty percent by 2030; and
WHEREAS, food insecurity among children and food waste can both be alleviated by repackaging food that would normally be wasted in school cafeterias and sending that food home with students; and
WHEREAS, the benefits of recovering food that would normally be wasted include the ability to donate that food to people experiencing food insecurity, the elimination of costs and resource consumption associated with food production, processing and distribution and the reduction of the environmental impact of food waste being transported to landfills where it emits methane, a potent greenhouse gas;
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE SENATE OF THE STATE OF NEW MEXICO that the public education department be requested to convene a working group no later than June 1, 2020 to develop recommendations for repackaging school meals for donation to students; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the working group be composed of representatives from the public education department, department of environment, department of health, human services department, children, youth and families department and appropriate nongovernmental organizations; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the working group be requested to study food insecurity, food waste, benefits of proper nutrition for a child's education, food donation and how other states have addressed food waste and food insecurity in schools; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the working group be requested to report its findings and conclusions to the appropriate interim legislative committee by November 1, 2020; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that copies of this memorial be transmitted to the public education department, department of environment, department of health, human services department, children, youth, and families department and appropriate nongovernmental organizations.
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