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Community Eligibility Provision gives free meals to students in Yonkers

New designation ensures the district will get reimbursed for free meals


YONKERS – Yonkers’ superintendent of schools said the district has received a new "low income" designation from the federal government, according to our partners at The designation is called the Community Eligibility Provision and it no longer requires the district to collect money from students or their parents to pay for school meals. The designation means students can get free meals and the district gets reimbursed for the meals it serves the students.

The measure will take effect in September.

Yonkers residents said they are happy to hear the news.

"To be a kid to get to school and you can't get lunch and other people are eating in front of you, that's a horrible feeling. So to provide for children who are impoverished that's a great thing," Earl Noel said. "I think it's great because what's the point of building a society if you're not going to take care of the kids."

"I’m absolutely for everything that they do for the children. They need everything they can get," Yonkers resident Nick Sullo said.

While the exact amount the district will receive from the government has not been announced, taxpayers lost about $1.5 million in unpaid school breakfasts and lunches over the past two years.

Last week the district had to transfer more than $282,000 to cover meals that went unpaid for part of the last school year.

Officials said some parents are part of the problem. School leaders said parents are sent applications to apply for free meals, but some who do qualify never bother to return them.

The federal designation goes into full effect next month.

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