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'No child should have to choose between religion and lunch'

Agudath Israel's Rabbi Silber thanks NY councilmen who backed pilot program offering kosher, halal, food to public school students.

New York City Council Speaker Corey Johnson and Councilman Chaim Deutsch announced last week a pilot program providing Jewish students in public and private schools with kosher meals.

The program, which was announced in June, will cost $1 million. Though planned for the current school year, the program has not yet begun due to several logistic issues which still need to be worked out.

It is not yet clear which schools will participate in the pilot program.

For several years, Agudath Israel of America has worked to end the status quo, in which Jewish students are unable to enjoy school lunches. Many of the students either go hungry during school hours, or bring simple and unsatisfying food from home, while their classmates enjoy a full and nutritious meal.

Rabbi Yeruchim Silber, who serves as Agudath Israel of America's Director of NY Government Relations, thanked Johnson and Deutsch, as well as the other representatives who helped advance the program. He also called on US lawmakers to expand the program and pass bill proposed by Queens Assemblyman David Weprin ensuring that public schools will provide kosher food for their students.

"No child should have to choose between their religion and a nutritious lunch.," Rabbi Silber said.

The program also provides Muslim students with halal food.


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