Students need proper nourishment to be successful. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has granted school districts broad flexibility throughout the pandemic to provide all students free meals. These allowances expire on June 30, 2022. Without continuance of a free school meals program for all, school districts will no longer be able to ensure that every student has access to healthy nutritious meals. Proposed federal investments in the Build Back Better Act could lower the cost of a universal school meals program in New York. As written, the bill would increase federal reimbursements by over $64 million. While changes at the federal level could make a universal school meals program more cost-effective for our state, New York must act now regardless of federal action.
Download the full ECB Statement Paper below.