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Push to fully fund school meals in state budget

todayJanuary 29, 2024 3

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ALBANY, N.Y. (WTEN)– The Healthy School Meals for All NY Kids Coalition is calling on Governor Kathy Hochul to fully fund school meals for students in every district of the state. 

Last year, the state allocated $134 million to expand access to school meals to hundreds of thousands of students. While the governor has proposed an $11 million dollar increase, advocates say it’s not enough to make every student eligible.

“More than 320,000 students in 650 schools were left behind,” said Andrés Vives, Executive Director of Hunger Solutions New York, at a rally at the state capitol. “They still do not have access to free universal school meals and that’s why we are here today.”

Organizations such as the New York Farm Bureau, New York State United Teachers, and the New York State PTA, support fully funding breakfast and lunch in schools—- saying it helps to get rid of poverty stigma, as well as improve student health and performance.

“There is a miss perception that many of the schools left out of last year‘s investment are affluent,” said Liz Accles, Executive Director of Community Food Advocates. “In fact, those schools not included, could have students— up to 24% of their student body, deemed low income.”

It is an issue that has bipartisan support.

“There is nothing more important than making sure our children are fed,” explained Republican Senator, Dean Murray. “When they go to school, they can concentrate on doing their school work, without their stomachs growling. Without wondering are they going to go hungry that day.”

The final state state budget is due April 1st.

​ ALBANY, N.Y. (WTEN)– The Healthy School Meals for All NY Kids Coalition is calling on Governor Kathy Hochul to fully fund school meals for students in every district of the state. 

Last year, the state allocated $134 million to expand access to school meals to hundreds of thousands of students. While the governor has proposed an $11 million dollar increase, advocates say it’s not enough to make every student eligible.

“More than 320,000 students in 650 schools were left behind,” said Andrés Vives, Executive Director of Hunger Solutions New York, at a rally at the state capitol. “They still do not have access to free universal school meals and that’s why we are here today.”

Organizations such as the New York Farm Bureau, New York State United Teachers, and the New York State PTA, support fully funding breakfast and lunch in schools—- saying it helps to get rid of poverty stigma, as well as improve student health and performance.

“There is a miss perception that many of the schools left out of last year‘s investment are affluent,” said Liz Accles, Executive Director of Community Food Advocates. “In fact, those schools not included, could have students— up to 24% of their student body, deemed low income.”

It is an issue that has bipartisan support.

“There is nothing more important than making sure our children are fed,” explained Republican Senator, Dean Murray. “When they go to school, they can concentrate on doing their school work, without their stomachs growling. Without wondering are they going to go hungry that day.”

The final state state budget is due April 1st. Read More New York StateRochesterFirst  

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