Dear Commons Community,
Mayor Bill de Blasio and Chancellor Carmen Fariña announced yesterday that all public school students, regardless of family income, will receive free lunch.
The program — called Free School Lunch For All — aligns with the start of the school year, and ends a feud between New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and City Council members, Chalkbeat reported.
At New York City Public Schools, the largest district in the US with about 1.1 million students, nearly 800,000 students have been estimated to qualify for free lunch. But many don’t fill out the proper forms and miss out on the program due to the stigmatization associated with qualifying, Chalkbeat reported.
The program aims to remove the barriers for all kids to receive access to lunch at school.
The de Blasio administration has slowly expanded access to free meals: The city began a pilot program offering free lunch to middle school students in 2014, and currently offers free breakfast at every school.
“This is about equity,” schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña said at a press conference Wednesday, where she was joined by city council leaders, union officials, and advocates. “There is a basic level of investment that every New Yorker deserves.”
Great move by the de Blasio and Fariña. Active, healthy children need fuel if they are to do well in school.