Hunger Solutions New York and the Food Research & Action Center Praise Governor Cuomo’s
FY18-19 Budget Proposal
No Student Goes Hungry, Nutrition Outreach and Education Program funding, among top anti-hunger priorities

 Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s 2018 State of the State and FY 2018-19 budget contains a sweeping proposal to reduce hunger among students from kindergarten through college.

The five-point plan titled, “No Student Goes Hungry”, ensures that nearly 1 million students in high poverty schools across New York have expanded access to the School Breakfast Program by requiring Breakfast After the Bell, an innovative way to make breakfast a natural part of the school day. Some schools in the state already offer Breakfast After the Bell, using successful models like Breakfast in the Classroom or Grab and Go, resulting in significant increases in student participation. New York currently ranks 42nd in the nation in school breakfast participation.

“Hunger Solutions New York supports the governor’s plans,” said Linda Bopp, Executive Director of Hunger Solutions New York, a statewide organization dedicated to alleviating hunger among all New Yorkers. “We are encouraged to see a comprehensive proposal in the 2018-19 agenda to help ensure more children, adults and families have the nutrition they need to live healthy, productive lives.”

The Governor proposes $7m to enable schools to purchase needed equipment to launch Breakfast After the Bell, and an additional $5m to account for the projected growth of state school breakfast reimbursements as a result of increased participation.

In addition, the proposal includes a directive to end lunch shaming, which will have a positive impact on the lives of low-income children who are sometimes treated unfairly when unable to pay for their school meals. In an effort to help more school children eat fresh, local produce and to increase the use of local agricultural products, the Governor is proposing a two-pronged approach: significantly increase school lunch reimbursement for schools that procure 30% or more ingredients from NYS farms; and increase investment in the farm-to-school grant program. Finally, the plan addresses hunger among college students by requiring food pantries on all SUNY and CUNY campuses.

Taken together, No Student Goes Hungry will significantly improve the state’s progress in reducing childhood hunger.

The budget also includes important funding for one of the largest SNAP outreach programs in New York, the Nutrition Outreach and Education Program (NOEP). Managed by Hunger Solutions New York, NOEP funds community-based outreach workers across the state to provide free, one-on-one education and application assistance for SNAP. In the year ending June 30, 2017, NOEP helped over 33,000 households access SNAP benefits.

The governor has also recommended level funding for outreach and education of the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) in his budget. CACFP is a federally funded nutrition assistance program that provides healthy meals and snacks to low-income children in child care centers, family day care and after-school programs. To help increase relatively low participation rates, the NYS Office of Child and Family Services contracts with Hunger Solutions New York to conduct outreach and increase participation in CACFP.

The budget also includes level funding for the Hunger Prevention and Nutrition Assistance Program (HPNAP) at $34.5m, a critical resource for the state’s food banks and pantries.

“We commend Gov. Cuomo for putting forth a budget that prioritizes putting an end to childhood hunger in New York,” said Jim Weill, president of the Food Research & Action Center. “These investments in proven nutrition programs will yield multiple returns. Low-income students will be healthier and better prepared to learn; schools will receive an economic boost; and families will be kept or lifted out of poverty.”

Hunger Solutions New York is a statewide non-profit organization dedicated to alleviating hunger. We promote awareness of hunger in communities across the state, awareness about programs that address hunger, full participation in hunger assistance programs for all who are eligible, public policies that contribute to ending hunger, and public awareness of the economic benefit of anti-hunger programs.

 The Food Research & Action Center (FRAC.org) is the leading national nonprofit organization working to eradicate poverty-related hunger and undernutrition in the United States.

 

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