As summer vacation began on Tuesday, the Yonkers Public Schools launched its highly anticipated Free Summer Breakfast and Lunch program. This initiative-continuing until August 11-aims to provide nutritious meals to students who rely on school meals during the academic year.
Reportedly, over 25% of Yonkers residents under the age of 18 currently live below the poverty line. To address this issue, breakfast and lunch are provided for students to consume on-site at six schools across the city. In addition, these meals are also available at the Riverfront and Will Libraries-ensuring that as many students as possible have access to nutritious meals. Last year, the program successfully distributed 8,800 meals. The $150,000 cost of the program is fully reimbursed by the federal government.
Cherise Tafe, director of food services at YPS, highlighted the importance of the program. “In a city like Yonkers, where we have children who live at or below the poverty level, we need to provide meals to them because we don’t want them to just eat from September to June,” said Tafe to News12 Westchester.
The Yonkers Public Schools‘ Free Summer Breakfast and Lunch program serves as a lifeline for many students, bridging the gap between the end of one school year and the start of the next. By addressing food insecurity, the program seeks to promote the overall well-being and academic success of Yonkers students, fostering a healthier and brighter future for the entire community.