The NYS Education Department (SED) recently changed its formula requirements that school districts must meet in order to provide free school lunches to all students. Until this school year, districts needed certification that 40 percent of its student population receives state financial services in the form of Medicaid, SNAP/TANF, etc. This fall, however, the state lowered that requirement from 40 to 25 percent. The change allowed more districts throughout the state to qualify for free meals for students.
“As soon as we heard the state lowered the requirements for free school meals, we began looking into this option,” said BH-BL’s Food Service Director Nicola Boehm.
Although Boehm worked closely with representatives in SED’s Office of Child Nutrition analyzing the district’s Direct Certification data and revisiting the requirements, the outcome showed that BH-BL did not meet the qualifications to apply for the free student meals program.
The district does support the Free & Reduced Price Meals program whereby income eligible families may be entitled to reduced or free meals for school-aged children. Information about applying to this service can be found on the district website [follow this link to download the application] or by contacting the Food Service Department at (518) 399-9141 ext. 85003