No More Free Lunch? New York Public Schools Hope to Stop That!
Public schools across New York state are hoping to save the free breakfast and lunch programs for their students. During the pandemic, there was funding available to make sure that students were fed both breakfast and lunch each day for free. Now the program is in jeopardy.
Why is the Program Ending?
Funding is needed to continue the free lunch and breakfast programs across the state in public schools but it doesn't look like it is included in Governor Kathy Hochul's New York state budget. Capital Region schools and others are pleading to state lawmakers to save this important program.
There is a Dire Need for School Breakfast and Lunch
There is a huge need for free school meals across the country and especially in New York state. One in five students in New York state is food insecure. Without free meals at school, some students would not be fed. A nutrient-rich meal is necessary to make sure kids can not only get proper nutrition but to be able to learn according to News 10 ABC.
What Needs to Be Done?
New York state lawmakers are asking Governor Hochul to include Healthy Meals for all kids K-12 in New York Schools in the state budget. It will help them not only be fed but help them focus on learning. According to Assemblywoman Jessica Gonzalez-Rojas:
The program will cost about $200 Million. But we have to remember, it’s $200 Million in a New York State budget of $216 Billion. So, it’s really a drop in the bucket to ensure that our school children across the state have access to healthy nutritious meals.
The program would provide free, healthy lunch and breakfast for all students regardless of where they live and their family's income level.
A program that was set up through the federal government during the pandemic to offer free meals to schools is expiring in June.
How Can You Help?
You are encouraged to reach out to your local lawmakers, Assembly members and Congress to ask for them to push the governor to include this necessary program in the state's budget.