On Wednesday, September 2, the Food Bank truck bays transformed into a stage of advocacy as the Food Bank welcomed Senator Kirsten Gillibrand as she proposed the extension of Pandemic EBT (P-EBT) through the end of the school year. P-EBT is a federal program that provides nutritional resources to families in need, who have lost access to free or reduced-price school meals due to school closures caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“This solution is about making sure all kids who would normally get a free or a reduced-cost lunch have access to food during this pandemic. We want to have this in place through the whole school year, so that they can have nutritional food, even if they are not in school every day,” said Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand.
In addition, Mark Bordeau, the Director of Food Service for Broome-Tioga BOCES; Monica Dykeman, School Foods Grant Coordinator at Tompkins Cortland Community College; New York State Senator Tom O’Mara; and Natasha Thompson, Food Bank President & CEO, spoke about the valuable role P-EBT has played for supporting children throughout the Southern Tier.