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Ending Hunger
Starts at School

New York must ensure all children in our state have access to healthy school meals at no cost.

Too Many Students Miss Out on School Meals:

Students experiencing hunger struggle to focus and engage, have lower school attendance than their peers, and are at greater risk of mental and physical health problems.

School meals are one of the farthest reaching anti-hunger programs for school-aged children, but only providing free meals to some children leaves many behind:

Children whose families struggle to meet basic needs, but do not qualify for free school meals.

Children in small, rural schools that are unable to provide free meals for all using existing federal options.

Children who qualify, but fall through the cracks due to stigma and administrative barriers.

The Solution:

New York State must establish and fund statewide, permanent Healthy School Meals for All to ensure all students receive a healthy school breakfast and lunch at no cost each school day.

Providing free meals for all students — regardless of income — is a proven strategy to reduce food insecurity, improve mental and physical health, support students’ ability to thrive academically, and bolster educational, health, and economic equity.

Students at lunch

Benefits for Students and Communities:

Healthy School Meals for All is a critical step toward equity in health and education across New York. This policy:

Advances child health, educational & racial equity

Cafeteria woman smiling

Ends stigma & school meal debt

Teenage boy

Supports learning & well-being

Invests in schools & communities

Take Action

Learn about the different ways that you can get involved today.

We are advocating for New York to establish and fund Healthy School Meals for All in the FY2025 state budget.

Learn more about the budget process and how you can get involved.