HORSEHEADS, N.Y. (WENY) -- New York schools have successfully adopted a plan to end "meal shaming."
It's part of the state's "No Student Goes Hungry" program and works to be sure all students are treated fairly, despite whether or not they can afford a school lunch.
At Governor Cuomo's request, all schools state-wide were required to submit a plan. It acknowledged that a student with unpaid meal charges will not be denied a meal or treated differently.
Now local districts are ensuring all students have a safe and worry-free place to enjoy their lunch.
"We love taking care of the kids and we love seeing their smiling faces. We don't want to create a bad experience," says Joe Kilmer, Regional Food Service Director for GFT Boces. Kilmer works within the Horseheads, Corning-Painted Post and Elmira City School Districts. "Something I always tell my staff and that we try to live by whenever possible is lunch may be the shortest time of the day, but we want it to be their best."
The "No Student Goes Hungry" initiative also includes expanding New York's farm-to school program, which address food insecurity by expanding access to farm fresh foods for students.