Tusk Philanthropies' Solving Hunger Applauds Governor Hochul and Legislature for Feeding 294,000 More New York School Kids

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New funding in recently-passed budget ensures 80% of New York students — hundreds of thousands of which already live in food-insecure households — will now be fed in school

NEW YORK, May 5, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Today, Tusk Philanthropies’ Solving Hunger, a nonprofit dedicated to ending hunger in the United States, applauded leaders in Albany after the recently passed budget included $134.6 million in new funding to feed students in schools across New York State. This funding followed a successful $150,000+ lobbying and ad campaign by Tusk Philanthropies to encourage Governor Hochul and the legislature to fund school meals in New York and put New York State in line with other states that have adopted or are moving toward universal school meals, including California, Maine, Colorado, Minnesota, and New Mexico.

Beginning in the Spring of 2020, the federal government paid the full cost to feed all K-12 public school children without poverty tests. However, that program expired in the Fall of 2022, leaving millions of children unable to access the nutrition they needed to learn in school. The new $134 million in funding will ensure that high-poverty schools in New York can more easily enroll all students in school meals — without students needing to demonstrate need or fill out arduous paperwork.

Statement from Bradley Tusk, Founder of Tusk Philanthropies:
“Imagine taking Citi Field, filling it more than seven times over with kids, and then giving all of those kids breakfast and lunch every single day going forward. What the Governor and legislature did here is transformational.”

“2022 ended with kids going hungry when the pandemic-era federal program to feed all children in school came to an end. Hungry kids can’t learn, and we stepped up alongside legislative champions like Majority Leader Stewart-Cousins, Speaker Heastie, Senator Hinchey, Senator Mayer, and Assemblymember González-Rojas to fight for this funding. These efforts paid off, and now nearly 300,000 more students from high-poverty school districts will be guaranteed meals in school.”

“This is a victory that will improve the health, education, and well-being of our kids. We thank these legislators and Governor Hochul for their work, and we’re going to build on this success next year and aim to expand funding that covers all schools and all kids in New York State.”

Statement from Senator Michelle Hinchey:
“This year, we took an unprecedented stand on the urgent need to combat child hunger in New York, forming one of the strongest, most determined coalitions that built a movement resulting in the significant expansion of free school meals. Because of that, nearly 40,000 students in my district alone will have access to free breakfast and lunch, setting them up for success while saving families money each week in grocery costs. I’m proud of our incredible coalition of hunger advocates, parents, teachers, and students, and thankful to Assemblymember Jessica González-Rojas for her partnership. We will continue to build on this transformative progress and fight for more support, resources, and solutions to deliver healthy meals for all New York students.”

Statement from Senator Shelley B. Mayer:
“I am thrilled by the historic investment of $135 million to expand access to school meals for almost 300,000 new students across New York State. Every teacher and student knows how difficult it is for children to learn when they are hungry. This relief will bring improved academic performance, social and emotional development, and a more unified school environment while easing expenses for families.”

Statement from Assemblymember Jessica González-Rojas:
“I can’t think of a cause more critical for the government to address than feeding hungry children. I commend the legislative leaders, including Speaker Heastie, for their inclusion of $135 million in our enacted state budget to expand school meals to more students and schools across our state. After we transition to a 25% community eligibility threshold (CEP) in New York, we will expand school meals to about 300,000 students across 950 schools in our state. I am grateful to all of the advocates, including Solving Hunger, and all of my colleagues who supported the Healthy School Meals for All NY campaign. While this allocation is not everything that we sought, this fight is far from over. I look forward to continuing to organize with advocates and my colleagues to achieve universal school meals for all our students.”

About Solving Hunger
Solving Hunger runs coordinated anti-hunger campaigns in cities and states to pass legislation that expands nutrition programs. For this upcoming year, Solving Hunger will provide resources and funding to four organizations focused solely on enacting political and policy changes to bring healthy school meals for all (also known as Universal Free Meals) to their communities. 

Contact: [email protected] 


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SOURCE Tusk Philanthropies

Tusk Philanthropies' Solving Hunger Applauds Governor Hochul and Legislature for Feeding 294,000 More New York School Kids WeeklyReviewer

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