LD 655: An Act to Require at Least a 30-minute Lunch Period for Students
Bill Sponsor | Presented by Representative Jan Dodge
Status |Amended to be a study and enacted by the 130th Maine Legislature
WHY MANDATE 30 MINUTES OF SEAT TIME FOR STUDENTS TO EAT LUNCH AT SCHOOL?
Maine currently advises school districts to allocate at least 20 minutes of a student’s day for lunch. However, this includes the time it takes to walk to the cafeteria, wait in line, sit down, and eat.
- Research has shown that the last student in line has 2-3 minutes to eat their lunch.
- This results in less food ending up in a child’s belly and increased food waste in cafeterias.
- Extending lunch periods from 20 to 30 minutes can reduce plate waste by a third.
- Healthy choices like raw vegetables take longer to consume.
- A hungry child can’t learn, short lunch periods make it challenging for a student to pay attention and be an active participant for the rest of the school day.
- Many Maine schools already allow 30 minutes for lunch, so we should make this best practice a reality for students across our state.
Read the full legislative language of LD 655
For more information, contact Full Plates’ Director of Advocacy, Anna Korsen