Parents urged to submit free meal applications ahead of new academic year

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — The No Kid Hungry organization is urging parents to submit applications for their children to receive free or reduced-cost meals at school ahead of the new academic year.

During the pandemic, federal child nutrition waivers allowed schools to provide free meals to all kids. That federal provision expired at the end of last school year.

The school meal programs are in an effort to combat one-in-five children facing hunger in New York State.

“Hundreds of thousands of kids who depend on school meals will re-enter New York classrooms in a few short weeks, and we are deeply worried that families won’t learn about this new requirement until after school resumes,” said Rachel Sabella, Director of No Kid Hungry New York. “We must make sure families fill out these applications for free or reduced-price meals ASAP so their children will not go hungry this September.”

School meals are more than a low-cost way for students to receive healthy, nutritious meals. Filling out the application can also help the schools qualify for additional resources, keeping programming strong for all students. Applications for free meals can also support families with additional benefits including:

  • Discounted exam and college application fees
  • Scholarship opportunities 
  • Home wi-fi discounts
  • Additional supplies that supports the student’s education 

For additional resources on applications in New York State, click here.