Senator Kirsten Gillibrand and Congressman Joe Morelle are among the local and state lawmakers applauding the passage of the Keep Kids Fed Act, which is expanding funding for school nutrition programs.
"The COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated food insecurity in communities across the country, which is why my colleagues and I took immediate action to help families put food on the table,” said Congressman Morelle. "With the pandemic far from over and families feeling the pressure of rising costs, now is not the time to pull the rug out from under families in need — which is why I fought to pass critical legislation to extend meal programs and equip summer meal sites with the resources necessary to continue serving families. I’m grateful for Senator Gillibrand’s leadership and partnership on this important issue and look forward to our continued work together to uplift Rochester families."
This allows pandemic-era meal waivers to continue throughout this summer, making it easier and more affordable for schools to provide free and healthy meals to students in need.
"During the pandemic in Niagara Falls, in the school districts we served half a million meals remotely to kids and if that's not a statistic of how big the need is then I can't think of anything more telling," Mark Laurrie, Niagara Falls City School District superintendent, said.
According to Sen. Gillibrand, almost a fifth of kids living in Niagara County deals with some kind of food insecurity.
"When the COVID-19 pandemic shut down schools, putting millions of kids at risk of losing access to free school meals, we took decisive action to cut red tape and help schools continue to feed students in need," said Sen. Gillibrand. "Now, with school summer break already underway and the cost of food and other necessities skyrocketing, we have to continue doing everything we can to help schools and other summer meal providers. That’s why I’m proud that Congress heeded my call to put kids ahead of bureaucracy and extend pandemic-era flexibilities by passing the Keep Kids Fed Act. I’ll keep fighting in Congress to make sure every child in New York always knows where their next meal is coming from."