ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – During the pandemic, the federal government allocated funding for school districts across the county to provide free meals for all students, regardless of their family’s income level.

Rachel Sabella, Director of No Kid Hungry New York said soon only children from low-income households will be eligible. Parents or caregivers will have to apply for free or reduced-price school meals, like families had to do before the pandemic.

“For some families, they haven’t filled it out in a few years,” explained Sabella. “For other families, their circumstances may have changed because of the pandemic, and we want to make sure they know this benefit is available, but they have to be able to fill out the form in order to get it.”

According to New York State’s Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance, while it varies, a chart shows an example that for a family of 4 that has an income up to $34,450 dollars, meals are free. If a family of 4 has an income up to $49,025 dollars, meals are reduced.

“In New York State, 1 in 5 children could face food insecurity and that’s why it’s so important that we make sure they have access to nutritious meals at schools, families know other support is available and that we do what we can to help families put food on the table.”