NYS schoolchildren on verge of losing free school meals

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New York State schoolchildren are on the verge of losing free school meals as federal funding is about to expire.

The CARES Act and several COVID-19 relief packages approved by Congress for temporary food funding in public schools will expire soon.

There is anxiety among nutrition experts, parents and staff in school cafeterias, reported Tuesday.

“Very unfair because not all of us has resources to pay for all these foods,” said Mike Jarama, a junior at Southampton High School, who is one of 800,000 school children across New York state on the verge of losing free school meals.

According to Hunger Solutions New York, the funding will dry up on June 30 for most schools districts.

It was gathered that nearly 50 percent of students at Southampton High School are food insecure and parents don’t have the funds to dole out.

“The pandemic certainly did create a lot of problems, but one of the problems was solved by the federal government funding the free food,” said Dean Daley, a junior at Southampton High School.

Ana Trinidad, a senior at Southampton High School, said $3.15 to buy lunch is a lot.

The state education department is asking the New York Congressional Delegation to push Capitol Hill to extent the program. Thus far, efforts have stalled.

Some states are now budgeting for free meals and the movement is gaining national momentum. No more student shaming or debt collecting.

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