WGXC-90.7 FM

Hinchey wants universal free school meals

Jan 30, 2024 1:37 am

The Daily Freeman reports that State Sen Michelle Hinchey, who represents Greene County, and much of Columbia, Ulster, and Dutchess counties, led a rally at the state Capitol Jan. 29 asking for an expansion of the state’s Healthy School Meal program to provide free breakfast and lunch to all K-12 students in the state. Hinchey said, “Every student, family, school, and community in New York should have the opportunity to benefit from School Meals for All, and we won’t stop fighting until we deliver a permanent, universal program.” Hinchey's office said that 347,000 students in 1,200 schools got access to free school meals in the 2023-2024 school year, but 321,000 students in 650 schools could have used those meals too. Hinchey said, “Since we expanded Healthy School Meals last year, the transformative progress we expected is unfolding in communities across New York State.... More students have gained access to free breakfast and lunch, and with that, we’re actively breaking the stigma of food insecurity, keeping kids healthy, and helping them learn better, all while saving families money every week.” Massachusetts, Vermont, California, Colorado, Maine, Minnesota, New Mexico, and Michigan now have universal school meal programs. Legislators recently returned to Albany and are considering next year's budget. Read more about this story in the Daily Freeman.