Part of the Food Policy Snapshot Series
Policy Name: The Governor’s No Student Goes Hungry Program
New York State
Population: 19.8M (U.S. Census Bureau, 2017)
In August 2018, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced the launch of the No Student Goes Hungry Program. This comprehensive program addresses food insecurity by banning lunch shaming, requiring breakfast after the bell, expanding the Farm-to-School program, increasing access to farm-fresh foods for all public school students from kindergarten through high school, and requiring all SUNY and CUNY public campuses to have a food pantry and/or free food access by the end of the fall 2018 semester. This strategic investment of state funds aims to nourish New York children, improve student health and well-being, support school nutrition programs and boost the state’s agricultural economy.
Progress to date:
On December 28, 2017, Governor Cuomo unveiled the 15th proposal of the 2018 State of the State: launch a comprehensive program to provide students of all ages, backgrounds and financial situations access to healthy, locally-sourced meals from kindergarten through college.
On August 9, 2018, Governor Cuomo announced that $1.5 million is available for eligible school districts to support the growth of farm-to-school programs across New York State ahead of the upcoming school year. The farm-to-school program helps kindergarten through grade 12 schools to increase the volume and variety of locally grown and produced food on school menus, improve student health, and educate young people about agriculture. It also assists the agricultural economy by providing additional business to New York’s farmers.
On August 28, 2018, Governor Cuomo announced the launch of the five-point No Student Goes Hungry Program.
On August 29, 2018, Governor Cuomo announced that all campuses of The State University of New York and The City University of New York will have a food pantry or stigma-free food access for students in need by the end of the fall semester.
Program/Policy Initiated: August 28, 2018
Food policy category: Food Insecurity/Food Security
Program goals: to combat food insecurity and hunger by providing students with locally grown, nutritious meals and supporting an improved learning experience for children of all ages
How it works:
No Student Goes Hungry is a five-point program designed to ensure that all New York students are able to get the nutrition they need to succeed. The program will:
Why it is important:
One in five children in New York State are food insecure. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, child hunger is associated with lower grades, higher rates of absenteeism and inability to focus in class. The No Student Goes Hungry Program is making breakfast more accessible for students and lunches stigma-free. Combined with policies to expand the Farm-To-School program and improve meal quality, the program is helping students get the healthy meals they need to succeed. Further, the program makes New York a national “farm-to-school” leader by offering an incentive to schools to purchase local products, thus expanding school children’s access to healthy New York food while bolstering the state’s agricultural economy. Increased access to fresh food in schools has been found to lower child obesity rates, which promotes healthier families and communities. This in turn has a positive impact on students’ mental health, improving their social skills, their self-esteem and their work ethic. In summary, this initiative is an effective strategy for removing the barriers to healthy food options while providing a supportive learning environment for students across the state.
Evaluation: The immediate results of the No Student Goes Hungry Program are measurable, including an increase in the number of children eating school breakfast, an increase in healthier, locally-sourced school lunches and additional funding coming into local schools. Over the long-term, other measurable impacts include improved student performance and grades, increase in classroom attentiveness and better behavior, increase in school attendance and overall health. Individual schools are responsible for the establishment and evaluation of the programs they implement.
Point of Contact:
The Governor’s Press Office
T: (212) 681-4640
Beginning with the 2017-2018 school year, lunch has been free for all students who attend a New York City Public School. The Free School Lunch for All program allows 100 percent of students to be eligible, irrespective of income, providing an additional 200,000 students with free lunch. The program serves to provide financial relief to families and ensure that all students are receiving healthy, nutritious meals to stay focused in school. Read more.