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Expanded eligibility allows 3,000 new schools to offer free meals to students

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  • Staff Report 

In a significant expansion of the school meals program, 3,000 New York schools have become eligible to provide free breakfast and lunch to all students.


This development follows the United States Department of Agriculture’s decision to lower the threshold for universal meal provision from schools where 40% of families meet certain income levels to just 25%.

School officials across the state highlighted the profound impact of this policy change on student welfare.

The benefits of school-provided meals are backed by data from healthychildren.org, supported by the American Academy of Pediatrics, which suggests that children who have access to breakfast tend to maintain healthier weights, perform better academically, and show improvements in attention and memory.

This policy shift aims to contribute to these positive outcomes for more students across New York State.