End of federal universal free meal program impacts Hudson Valley families

Kids will once again qualify for either free, reduced or fully paid meals after their parents fill out an application. But this coupled with inflation is likely to put a strain on families.

Jonathan Gordon

Aug 22, 2022, 9:42 PM

Updated 602 days ago

Share:

Starting a new school year is stressful enough, but now many parents will have one more thing on their plate to worry about - making sure their children can eat.
For the past two years, every student has been eligible for free school meals, regardless of how much their parents made.
The program was renewed several times but expired this summer.
Kids will once again qualify for either free, reduced or fully paid meals after their parents fill out an application. But this coupled with inflation is likely to put a strain on families.
Children already make up about half of those served by Rockland County's largest food pantry, People to People.
People to People is preparing for increased demand for its food services.
State lawmakers have introduced a bill requiring schools to provide free meals, but it has been sitting in the education committee since May.
Schools in mostly low-income areas can still use the federal "Community Eligibility Provision" that allows them to provide free meals just like before the pandemic.
Parents need to check with their individual districts for that option.  

Below are resources for parents:



More from News 12