NY Gov calls for mandatory food pantries on every campus

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.”

[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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