close up photo of ripe and unriped apples
Photo by Polina Tankilevitch on

When your kids go back to school across our state this fall, their school breakfast and lunch won’t automatically be free like they have been through the pandemic.

We know many kids struggle with hunger at home, and getting them a healthy breakfast and lunch ensures they can thrive in and out of the classroom. But because federal rules have switched back to the pre-pandemic status quo, families and caregivers in many districts including Amsterdam will have to submit an application to qualify for free or reduced price meals. 

If you’re a parent, it’s incredibly important to fill it out right away. You can find them on your school or district’s website, or in person at school offices. 

Beyond ensuring your kids can get their school meals, the forms may qualify your family for additional benefits like discounted exam fees and college applications, extracurriculars, scholarship opportunities, and even home wifi. They can also help your child’s school secure additional classroom resources that will support all students’ education.

So as you’re checking things off your back to school to-do list, be sure to fill out the school meal application. After all, nutritious school meals are as important to students’ learning as notebooks and pencils.   

Rachel Sabella is the director of No Kid Hungry New York.

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