Feed The Children - 27 East


Southampton Press / Opinion / Letters / 1918046

Feed The Children

During the past two years, as families were faced with nearly unimaginable challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic, they had the assurance that their children would be fed through free school breakfast and lunch programs supported by the federal government. They didn’t have to worry about eligibility requirements related to their household income.

But with federal waivers about to expire and no extension of federal funding in sight, that provision will end June 30, 2022.

There is a way to ensure that kids are fed. Anyone who has a child, a grandchild, a niece or nephew, or who simply cares about the well-being of children, needs to reach out to our New York State legislators and Governor Kathy Hochul to urge them to make sure funding for the Healthy School Meals for All program is included in the new state budget.

If that doesn’t happen, 2,000 schools and 800,000 students will lose access to free meals at school. Children in families earning less than a living wage but who are not eligible for free school meals will be left behind.

New York families have felt the supply chain disruptions. We have been impacted by the gas and food price increases as well, with little to no relief.

The National School Nutrition Association and the New York School Nutrition Association have asked both our federal and state representatives for their support. However, the expiration of waivers for feeding our children still looms.

We believe establishing and funding a permanent statewide Healthy School Meals for All program across all schools participating in the National School Lunch Program would ensure students have access to a healthy breakfast and lunch each day.

Making sure our children are fed and ready for school is important. Families, and, by extension, children, should not have to worry about where their next meal is coming from.

Please tell our state officials you agree. Let’s get this done now to avoid another crisis on our home front.

Naim Walcott

Westhampton Beach