Dear Mayor Elect Bill Di Blasio,
Students must be well-nourished to learn. We, the undersigned, want to ensure that more children eat healthy school meals by making them free for all New York City public school students, regardless of income.
Collectively we work with many thousands of New York City residents representing our city’s great diversity. We believe free and healthy school lunches should be available to every public school student, and that it is crucial for the next Mayor to champion this policy.
Currently, many students do not eat school lunch or breakfast because of the long-standing income-based stigma of participating in the program. Offering universal free and healthy school meals without identifying students by income is fundamental to eliminating stigma and increasing participation.
Benefits of universal school meals include:
An estimated additional 120,000 students eating school lunch daily
If more students eat school lunch, more nutritious choices could be offered.
$59 million in increased federal and state revenue, generated from increased student participation, for an additional city investment of $20 million.
Approximately 1,000 new jobs created
Minimize burdensome paper work for schools
This is an investment that the city can’t afford to ignore, given the direct health, educational, and economic benefits for implementing free and healthy school lunches for all public school students.
New York City should take advantage of all the federal options available to provide free meals and make the small investment needed so that school meals are free for all.
We are eager to work with the next Mayor on this issue, and look forward to your support to make universal school meals a reality in New York City.
American Academy of Pediatrics District 2, Chapter 3
Alliance for Quality Education
Beth Hark Christian Counseling Center, Inc.
Bronx Health Reach
Brooklyn Food Coalition
Brooklyn Movement Center
Child Development Support Corporation
Children's Aid Society
Citizens' Committee for Children
Community Education Council 17 - Brooklyn
Community Food Advocates
Community Health Action of Staten Island
Congregation Ansche Chesed
Congregation Rodeph Sholom
District Council 37, AFSCME, AFL-CIO
Every Day is a Miracle, Inc.
Federation of Protestant Welfare Agencies
Food Bank for New York City
Food Research and Action Center
Fort Greene Peace
Goddard Riverside Community Center
Good Shepherd Services
Henry Street Settlement
Human Services Council of New York
Hunger Action Network of NYS
Judson Memorial Church
Make the Road New York
Marion Nestle, Paulette Goddard Professor, NYU, Steinhardt School,
Department of Nutrition, Food Studies & Public Health
Met Council on Jewish Poverty
Metropolitan NYC WIC Association
MinKwon Center for Community Action
Myrtle Avenue Revitalization Project
Neighborhood Family Services Coalition
New York City Coalition Against Hunger
New York City LGBTQ Chamber of Commerce
New York Faith and Justice
Resilience Advocacy Project
School Food FOCUS
Share Our Strength
Slow Food NYC
Single Stop USA
St. Nicks Alliance
The After School Corporation
The Coalition for Asian American Children and Families (CACF)
The River Fund
True Gospel Tabernacle
UJA-Federation of NY
United Federation of Teachers
Union Settlement Association
United Community Centers/United Community Day Care Center
United Neighborhood Houses
United Way of New York City
Wellness In The Schools
West Side Campaign Against Hunger
YMCA of Greater New York
YWCA of the City of New York