New law prohibits schools from suing over unpaid meal fees

Around New York State

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed new legislation into law Thursday that states schools cannot file lawsuits against parents for unpaid meal fees.

The new legislation builds on his previously established No Student Goes Hungry Program. The New York State Parent Teacher Assocation (NYSPTA) is in favor of the new law.

“We as an education community, and as a community in general, have to endure the health, safety, and wellness of our students,” NYSPTA Exec. Dir. Kyle Belokopitsky said. “That means that food insecurity must be on our list of to-dos to support our students. Every child should have the opportunity, and the continued opportunity, to have a healthy breakfast and a healthy lunch in school buildings.”

Belokopitsky also said that roughly 54 percent of New York students qualify for free and reduced lunch or need some sort of food assistance.

Those in need can email the New York State PTA at pta.office@NYSPTA.org. The organization will help connect you to food service programs in your community.

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