ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — For some students, getting lunch at school may be the only nutritious meal they get that day.
Now State lawmakers are calling on the governor to allow funding for free breakfast and lunch for students in grades K-12 in the state budget.
The funding would provide free, healthy breakfast and lunch for students regardless of where they live and their family’s income level.
“So many students across NY and across the US are food insecure. One in five in New York State, and it’s really important that they have access to school meals. A healthy nutrition rich meal at school everyday.” New York State Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Julie Raway said.
At the start of the pandemic, a federal program similar to this was adopted by some schools across the state, including here in Rochester. However, it is set to expire in June.
That is why advocates are pushing for this to be implemented.
“The program will cost 200 million dollars but we have to remember its 200 million dollars in a New York State budget of 216 billion dollars so its really a drop in the bucket to ensure that our school children across the state have access to healthy nutritious meals.” Assemblymember Jessica Gonzalez-Rojas said.
If the waiver expires and the state takes no action, over 2,000 schools and 800,000 students would be impacted across the state.