AURORA, Colo. (CBS4)– U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack visited a school in Aurora to recognize a huge achievement on Monday. Aurora Public Schools has served more than 7 million free meals to local children and adults over the past year.

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That’s a 40% increase from the year before. Vilsack joined Gov. Jared Polis and Rep. Jason Crow, who represents Colorado’s 6th Congressional District, at the Fulton Academy of Excellence to serve lunch on Monday.

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“Incredibly important work that these folks do, right there in that cafeteria — very, very important. They are central to the academic successes of these youngsters here,” said Vilsack.

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He is working on President Joe Biden’s plan to make over 600,000 free meals stay free on a permanent basis for students in Colorado.

Jennifer McRae