‘Meal Shaming’ Outlawed in All New York State Schools
Schoolchildren in the Empire State will no longer be meal shamed thanks to an amendment to the New York State Educational Law.
On Wednesday Governor Cuomo announced that all schools in New York are complying with legislation that will end the practice of meal shaming students. Schools are now required to have a plan to ensure that no child is denied a meal. even if they cannot afford one. The schools must also have a procedure in place to supply the meals without calling attention to the child.
Until now, some schools would shame students who could not afford a meal by making them wear a sticker or special bracelet and giving them a different meal than paying students. On some occasions, the children were even called out over the school's public address system.
Under the new regulations, all public, non-public and charter schools have submitted plans to make sure students with unpaid meal charges will still be able to select and eat whatever meal they choose. Additionally, the students will not be singled out or embarrassed because of their inability to pay.
The end of meal shaming is a part of the Governor's "No Student Goes Hungry" program, which also includes expanded access to free breakfast and farm-fresh foods. The program has budgeted an additional $1.5 million to expand the Farm-to-School program