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City Council questions whether school meals program has enough funding

May 17, 2024 Brooklyn Eagle Staff
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STATEWIDE — SUFFICIENT SCHOOL MEAL FUNDING was at the core of a budget hearing on Thursday, May 16, with City Councilmembers grilling Mayor Adams’ education officials over how they will feed students in the wake of budget cuts, reports Gothamist. The Adams administration slashed $60 million for school food last winter as part of citywide cuts that the mayor at first had deemed necessary in the wake of supporting the influx of migrants. And as federal stimulus funding expires, the city’s education budget will be reduced by more than $800 million, although Mayor Adams has worked to bolster it with city funds. However, as more children are relying on school cafeterias for their daily meals — including migrant and homeless students, food costs have spiked. The budget cuts also led to the removal of some foods that kids eat the most, such as chicken nuggets, chicken dumplings and French toast sticks — causing a public outcry from parents.

Emma Vadehra, deputy chancellor of operations and finance for the city’s education department, posited that the increased participation in school cafeterias was also due to “delicious food,” such as Mayor Adams’ Vegan Fridays, salad bars and greater access to halal meals.

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