As part of ongoing efforts to ensure every student can access free, nutritious meals, NYSUT has partnered with Hunger Solutions New York for the Healthy School Meals for All New York Kids campaign.
In June, federal waivers ensuring every student in the nation had access to free school meals expired. As a result, more than 726,000 New York students lost access to free school meals.
The Healthy School Meals for All coalition is calling on New York State to take the lead in ending childhood hunger in schools by funding universal free school meals in the FY2024 State budget.
Existing programs in New York leave far too many behind, including families struggling to make ends meet while hovering just above the income limits for free school meals and kids who qualify, but hesitate to eat, due to stigma and shame associated with providing free meals to only certain students.
Funding healthy school meals for all would change the game. Studies have shown a direct link between healthy meals and improved academic performance, boosted attendance, and better classroom behavior. With state funding, nearly 2,000 additional schools would be able to provide universal free school meals for all students.
New York has always been a leader – now is the time for us to live up to our state motto and push ever upward by providing Healthy School Meals for All.