NY Gov calls for mandatory food pantries on every campus

  • New York Governor Andrew Cuomo used his recent State of the State Address to call for mandatory food pantries on all public college and university campuses in the state.
  • He also touted the expansion of the "Excelsior Scholarship," which will soon cover the cost of tuition for students with a household income below $110,000.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is campaigning to reform higher education in his state by pushing for mandatory “food pantries on all SUNY and CUNY campuses.”

In his annual State of the State report, the governor proposed requiring “all [State University of New York] and [City University of New York] schools to either provide physical food pantries on campus, or enable students to receive food through a separate arrangement that is stigma-free.”

"New York State would be the first state to require every public campus to have a food pantry."   

[RELATED: Rising cost of college prompts schools to open food pantries for hungry students]

“The Governor proposes a $1 million state investment for schools to implement the program,” the report explains, later noting that “only about half of all SUNY and CUNY campuses have food pantries currently in place.

“If a campus offers students access to quality, affordable food options through an arrangement with an outside food bank, delivery and distribution must be included,” the document continues. “New York State would be the first state to require every public campus to have a food pantry.”

According to CNN, the push for food pantries is part of Cuomo’s Comprehensive No Student Goes Hungry Program, which pledges to “combat hunger for students in kindergarten through college.”

Alongside the food pantry proposal, Cuomo will also launch the second phase of a free-tuition initiative that targets middle-class students who attend public colleges and universities in the state.

“In [Fiscal Year] 2019, the Excelsior Scholarship will enter year two of a three-year phase-in,” the report notes. “Starting in the 2018-19 academic year, the Excelsior Scholarship income eligibility threshold will increase, allowing New Yorkers with household incomes up to $110,000 to be eligible.”

[RELATED: Hillary calls NY free tuition plan a 'great step for progressives']

The report also specifies that only full-time students who finish at least 30 credits every year are eligible to receive the funding, and mentions “built-in flexibility” that will allow some participants to pause and restart the program.

In total, the initiative is slated to support 27,000 students and is estimate to cost a whopping $118 million.

Cuomo did not immediately respond to Campus Reform’s request for comment.

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Nikita Vladimirov
Nikita Vladimirov | Correspondents Editor

Nikita Vladimirov is a Correspondents Editor for Campus Reform. Prior to joining Campus Reform, he wrote for The Hill, where he extensively covered the latest political developments in U.S. and around the world. A 2016 national finalist for the Society of Professional Journalists' "Mark of Excellence Award," Nikita now resides in Washington D.C. and contributes to the Washington Examiner. His work has appeared on the front pages of The Drudge Report and The Hill, and has been featured by leading media organizations including Fox News, MSN, Real Clear Defense and many others.

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