Dear [title] [last name],
As your constituent, I urge you to co-sponsor the Hunger Free Campus Act (S.1151/A.6881 Kaplan/L Rosenthal). Food insecurity is a substantial problem across New York’s communities and higher education institutions. In 2019, 48% of CUNY students and 40% of SUNY students reported struggling with food insecurity. The economic fallout of the pandemic has only deepened this shocking crisis. When students experience food insecurity, they are more likely to receive lower grades and are twice as likely to drop out before completing their degree or certificate than their food-secure classmates.
In light of the social, economic, and health benefits associated with earning a college degree or certificate, fueling an equitable recovery from COVID-19 requires prioritizing students’ basic needs so they can remain in school. That’s where the Hunger Free Campus Act comes in.
If passed, this bill (which has already been passed in CA, NJ, MD, and MN) would send $10 million in state dollars to colleges and universities across the state to help them tackle student food insecurity. Higher education institutions can use the funding to create SNAP enrollment opportunities, establish meal-swipe sharing programs, fund campus pantries, raise awareness about existing on-campus resources and much more.
These programs would provide resilient students in your district – and across the state – with the resources they need to secure a brighter future for themselves, their families, and the Empire State. You have the power to make sure that no college student in New York has to make the unthinkable choice between buying a textbook or going to bed on an empty stomach – a heartbreaking reality thousands of individuals are currently facing.
That is why I am calling on you to add your name as a co-sponsor of the Hunger Free Campus Act.
Thank you for your time and attention.