No Kid Hungry New York 2021 End of Year Highlights
For many of us across New York, 2021 has been a challenging year. But despite the fear and loss that characterized much of 2021, there were countless moments of joy and progress, proving once again the indominable spirit of New York to rise together against adversity. No Kid Hungry New York is celebrating the achievements of the past year, from statewide legislation to innovations in school cafeterias. Read on to see our top 5 highlights from 2021!
1. Restaurant Meals Program Signed Into Law
In October 2021, Governor Hochul signed the Restaurant Meals Program into law, marking a significant improvement to food security for SNAP participants in New York who are disabled, senior or experiencing homelessness. These New Yorkers will now be able to use their SNAP benefits to purchase prepared meals from authorized restaurants along with traditional grocery store items. SNAP serves as a lifeline for many New Yorkers, and this legislation will help ensure that those who may have trouble accessing kitchen facilities can still have regular access to food.
2. New York City Policy Agenda Shares Opportunities for Mayor-Elect Adams to Improve Food Security
When Mayor-Elect Adams takes office on January 1, 2022, he has the opportunity to reduce food insecurity for New Yorkers across all five boroughs. In this City and State opinion piece, No Kid Hungry New York Director Rachel Sabella provides four concrete actions that Mayor-Elect Adams can take to ensure every child in New York has access to three healthy meals every day. Learn more in our New York City Policy Agenda.
3. La Jornada Food Pantry Feeds the Queens Community
La Jornada Food Pantry in Queens, New York has long been a resource for those in need of a helping hand. When Queens became the epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic, La Jornada’s wide network of volunteers rose to meet the emergent need of their community. Learn more about La Jornada’s resiliency and the immense effort of Executive Director Pedro Rodriguez in No Kid Hungry’s “Rebuild With” video: How NYC is Feeding Kids During the Pandemic.
4. Sandy Creek Central School District Puts Smiles on Kids’ Faces and Food in their Bellies
Tracy Sullivan, Cook Manager at Sandy Creek Central School District in central New York, knew that students and staff in the district were grappling with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic during the last school year. So, she and her team brought both nutrition and joy to students through innovative programs and new initiatives. Read in Tracy’s own words how her team used school meals to bring fun and levity in the midst of a difficult year.
5. Hunger Heroes Hall of Fame Celebrates Nutrition Professionals Across New York
Across New York, nutrition professionals in school buildings and community organizations came to work ready to feed kids despite the challenges of the ongoing pandemic. These Hunger Heroes were integral to keeping New York’s children fed during the school building closures, and continue to be vital resources for children and families in the state. No Kid Hungry New York highlighted the work of these professionals in the Hunger Heroes Hall of Fame.