As New York City public schoolchildren start the new year, they won’t have to worry about paying for lunch. That’s because for the first time ever, all 1.1 million NYC public school students will get FREE school lunch.
Photo: USDA on Flickr.
According to the New York Times, the city becomes the largest ever to support a free public school lunch program. Other cities like Boston, Chicago, Detroit, and Dallas already offer such programs in their metropolises.
In New York City, 75% of public schoolchildren already qualify for free or reduced-price lunches. Those who qualify for the cheaper lunch in the Big Apple already get it for free as well. However, the new initiative will cover an additional 200,000 families and save them around $300 per year.
While this may sound like an expensive venture, it shouldn’t cost NYC any additional money to make this happen. That’s because New York recently changed how it tracks families legible for Medicaid and school lunch. Through this, the entire city has now qualified for a federal program that provides universal free lunch.
For the families, this is definitely a welcome boon that will help them save more money, especially in the long run. For food policy, it’s also a major win, and one that hopefully will continue to expand to cities across the nation. No kid should ever have to go hungry because their families can’t afford to pay for lunch.