Starting Wednesday, Nov. 1, 2023, all students at Queensbury Union Free School District will receive free lunch and breakfast thanks to new federal regulations that have lowered the eligibility threshold.
“We’re excited for this opportunity to have all students participate and enjoy the healthy meals we are able to offer our students,” said Scott Whittemore, assistant superintendent for business.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture recently amended the Community Eligibility Provision regulations, lowering the minimum identified student percentage from 40% to 25%.
This change, combined with a New York State CEP subsidy, allows more districts like Queensbury to experience the associated benefits like increasing students’ access to healthy, no-cost school meals, eliminating unpaid meal charges, reducing stigma, and streamlining program administration and meal service operations, according to the New York State Education Department.
Superintendent of Schools Kyle Gannon and other area superintendents have been advocating the state to provide free meals to all students. During the pandemic, when all school meals were free, the district saw a large increase in the number of breakfast eaters. In 2020 and 2021, the number of Queensbury students taking breakfast doubled.
“We have great food choices, and we are excited that our students will now be able to eat without worrying about how they will pay for their meals at school,” Gannon said. “Studies show there’s a correlation between a stomach full of healthy food and a child’s ability to learn.”
Money that exists in MySchoolBucks accounts may be used to purchase additional a la carte food items like individual milk, snacks and ice cream.
If you have questions, please contact Food Service Manager Josh Hodge at email@example.com.