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Cuomo Wants Food Pantries at All Public Colleges

January 2, 2018

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo plans to introduce legislation that would require all campuses in the State University and City University of New York systems to create their own food pantries or ensure another "stigma-free" way to give hungry students access to food, his office announced Dec. 28. In the latest in a string of pronouncements teasing proposals he plans to make in his State of the State address next week, Cuomo said his "No Student Goes Hungry" program would aim to give "students of all ages, backgrounds and financial situations access to healthy, locally sourced meals from kindergarten through college."

The higher education component of the plan would consist of legislation (funded with $1 million) that would require each CUNY or SUNY institution to "provide physical food pantries" on the campus or develop an arrangement with an outside food bank that would include delivery and distribution to students. Only about half of the state's public colleges currently have food banks, Cuomo's office said.

In a statement, SUNY Chancellor Kristina M. Johnson said, “We applaud Governor Cuomo for his proposal to ensure that no SUNY student goes hungry, and we look forward to making this important vision a reality through an expansion of SUNY’s current efforts and the work of our Food Insecurity Task Force … Currently, 70 percent of SUNY campuses have food pantries on site or through community partnerships such as community gardens, emergency food vouchers, dining center meal donations and other programs.”

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Doug Lederman

Doug Lederman is editor and co-founder of Inside Higher Ed. He helps lead the news organization's editorial operations, overseeing news content, opinion pieces, career advice, blogs and other features. Doug speaks widely about higher education, including on C-Span and National Public Radio and at meetings and on campuses around the country, and his work has appeared in The New York Times and USA Today, among other publications. Doug was managing editor of The Chronicle of Higher Education from 1999 to 2003. Before that, Doug had worked at The Chronicle since 1986 in a variety of roles, first as an athletics reporter and editor. He has won three National Awards for Education Reporting from the Education Writers Association, including one in 2009 for a series of Inside Higher Ed articles he co-wrote on college rankings. He began his career as a news clerk at The New York Times. He grew up in Shaker Heights, Ohio, and graduated in 1984 from Princeton University. Doug lives with his wife, Kate Scharff, in Bethesda, Md.

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