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ASU studies cost, benefits of making meals more accessible to families of all income levels

Earlier this week, the Arizona Department of Education allocated $6.75 million to further subsidize school meals. 

Starting in January, pandemic relief funds will be used to make school meals free for thousands of Arizona students who only qualify for reduced-price.

The department utilized cost research from Arizona State University in making its decision.

Sarah Martinelli is with the College of Health Solutions at ASU. She said the college looked into the costs and benefits of making healthy school meals more accessible.

“We also did a survey of about 2,300 to 2,400 people here in Arizona and got their opinions on school meals and the prospect of free school meals in our state," she said.

She said most Arizonans surveyed are in favor of healthy school meals for all, regardless of income. Her team plans to publish the rest of their findings sometime in January.

Senior field correspondent Bridget Dowd has a bachelor’s degree from Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication.