Help is on the way to assist children who, through no fault of their own,were unable to access free school meals do to all of the modifications last year during the pandemic.

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The governor has announced a new program to get financial assistance to those kids who were not in school last year, and could not avail themselves of the free food programs offered by the state.

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced an estimated $2.2 billion in federal food assistance for children in New York State that were unable to access free school meals due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Administered by the state Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance, the Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer program will provide eligible students $132 in food benefits for each month they fully participated in remote learning and $82 in food benefits for each month they participated in hybrid learning during the 2020-21 school year.

"For many families across the state, free school meals provide a critical stop-gap and the ongoing pandemic has only made it harder for those already grappling with food insecurity," Governor Cuomo said. "This funding will help school children throughout our state access critical food assistance at a time when so many families are trying to make ends meet."

The school free lunch program is a massive program that sees nearly 2.5 million children registered for the benefit statewide.  For this new benefit, families will not need to apply for it, but they will be issued through the school districts in two separate phases.

For more information on the free school food benefit, visit the official New York State government website for details.

We hope all New Yorkers who need this benefit find out more about it and avail themselves of this financial boost.

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