The FY2024 final state budget passed last month includes:
- $134.6M to expand access to free school meals in CEP schools.
- $5.45M in NOEP funding, including $2M to support expanded services.
- $250,000 to support outreach for the Child and Adult Care Food Program.
- $56.5M for HPNAP and $50M for Nourish NY.
Hunger Solutions New York applauds the Legislature and Governor for these critical anti-hunger investments. In particular, we thank Assemblymember Jessica González-Rojas for championing NOEP funding and Healthy School Meals for All in the Assembly, and Senators Roxanne Persaud and Michelle Hinchey for leading advocacy for NOEP funding and Healthy School Meals for All, respectively, in the Senate.
The $134.6M allocated for school meals will expand access to free school breakfast and lunch through a new state subsidy for the Community Eligibility Provision (CEP). While this funding does not provide universal free school meals for all students statewide, it is an important first step. CEP is a federal provision that allows high poverty schools to offer school meals at no cost to all students. Many schools are eligible for CEP but do not receive full federal reimbursement for all meals served; New York’s investment will close that gap in funding, enabling all CEP-eligible schools to participate and offer meals to all students at no charge. Note that eligible schools must enroll in CEP by the end of June to receive this new state funding.
The additional $2M in NOEP funding – for a total of $5.45M – will equip meaningful expansions of SNAP outreach and application assistance in high-need areas. It will also support efforts to maximize child nutrition programs, including the new state investment in school meals.
Still, there is more to be done to alleviate hunger in New York.
The Healthy School Meals for All NY Kids coalition is committed to ensuring all students have access to nutritious meals at school. We will continue to advocate for full funding of universal school meals to fully eliminate stigma, school meal debt, and barriers to access. Learn more and join the Healthy School Meals for All Coalition.
Hunger Solutions New York will also continue to advocate at the state and federal levels to protect and strengthen all of the federally funded nutrition assistance programs, especially as Farm Bill and debt ceiling debates continue. If you would like to receive our advocacy alerts via email, you can sign up by going to the following link: Hunger Solutions New York Email Sign Up. We will also share additional resources on our social media channels as these efforts move forward.