Minnesota school lunchtime length could be mandated in proposed law

The minimum amount of time children get to eat their lunch could soon become mandated for school districts.

A bill sponsored by Rep. Sydney Jordan (DFL-Minneapolis) would require a student who is a part of the national school lunch program to have a minimum of 15 minutes seat time to eat their lunch after receiving the meal. 

Differing from the general time frame currently allotted for a lunch period, the minimum time to eat lunch would not include transition time to and from the cafeteria – or where the lunch is served – waiting in a food service line, selecting the meal, returning trays, or recess.

The Minnesota School Nutrition Association says the current allotted time for lunch is "not sufficient for students to comfortably consume meals," and favors the bill.

If approved by lawmakers, the requirement for school district officials would go into effect on July 1, 2024, and be applied to the following school year.