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New York City Offers Free Lunch for All Public School Students

September 6, 2017

Lunch at New York City public schools will be available free of charge to all 1.1 million students beginning this school year, Carmen Fariña, the schools chancellor, said on Wednesday in the basement cafeteria of a Hell’s Kitchen elementary school. The new school year begins on Thursday.

Free lunch announced for all students at all NYC public schools

September 6, 2017

Schools Chancellor Carmen Farina said the "Free School Lunch for All" program will provide an additional 200,000 students with free lunch. Last year, 75 percent of students were eligible for free lunch.

Advocates Hope That Food Issues Will Find a Place on City’s Campaign Table

June 7, 2017 - City Limits by Kate Pastor

The city budget for fiscal 2018, which was passed this week, also includes money for a significant expansion of universal free school lunch, a longstanding policy goal of anti-hunger advocates, who believe that the stigma associated with getting “free lunch” deters thousands of students from using the benefits to which they are entitled. Under the new deal, all schools where 70 percent or more of students are eligible for free lunch will be part of the universal-free program. According to Liz Accles of Community Food Advocates, the expansion means 90 percent of schools (adding 890 schools to the 565 already covered) and 84 percent of students (adding 475,000 kids to the 353,000 students already covered) will receive universal free lunch.

NYC Budget Deal Has Millions for Youth Jobs, Free School Lunches

June 3, 2017 - Bloomberg News by Henry Goldman

New York city Mayor Bill de Blasio and City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito -- both Democrats -- shook hands on an $85 billion spending plan for the next fiscal year that includes about $30 million to create thousands of permanent and summer jobs for city youth.

New spending on schools includes $107 million in capital and operating funds to provide all schools with gyms or other physical education facilities and more than $10 million to offer more students free lunches.

De Blasio, City Council reach agreement on $85B budget

June 3, 2017 - New York Post by Yoav Gonen

Mayor de Blasio and the City Council reached a tentative agreement Friday on an $85.2 billion budget for fiscal 2018 — a 3.7 percent increase over the previous year’s adopted budget.

An additional $10.4 million was added to the budget to expand the free-lunch program in schools — which had been a priority for council members and Public ­Advocate Letitia James.

Mayor de Blasio Announces Budget for Fiscal Year 2018

June 2, 2017 - NBC 4 New York

Mayor de Blasio and the City Council have announced an agreement on an $85.2 billion budget that adds money for programs including emergency food assistance and school gym classes.

The budget significantly expands the number of schools offering free lunch for all students. The I-Team recently reported that kids from families over the current income cutoff were skipping meals so their parents wouldn't be charged. 

Mayor de Blasio, City Council agree on $85.2B budget deal

June 2, 2017 - New York Daily News by Jillian Jorgensen

The Council, meanwhile, got new money for several of its priorities including $23 million to end the waiting list for home care for seniors, $25 million to expand a property tax credit for veterans who served in war time, $9 million to expand the Summer Youth Employment Program, and a $7.2 million increase — that’s a 15 percent hike — in funding for emergency food assistance.

There’s also $2.1 million to expand breakfast in city classrooms, $10.4 million for free school lunch and $110 in capital funds for libraries.

NY1 Online: Grading de Blasio

June 2, 2017 - NY1 News: Road to City Hall

Teachers' union president Michael Mulgrew joined Errol Louis to evaluate Mayor de Blasio's record on education, weigh in on the debate over parking placards for teachers, and to make the case for universal free lunch. 

Ending School Lunch Shaming

May 31, 2017 - Time Warner Cable News by Capital Tonight Staff

You've probably seen stories surface on social media about kids being shamed for not being able to pay for their school lunches. My first guests this evening are sponsoring legislation that would prevent schools from denying students meals, or requiring students to do chores to pay for meals. Instead, schools would be required to contact parents and guardians directly. Senator Liz Krueger and Assemblywoman Jo Anne Simon join us from the New York City studio to discuss. 

Last City Budget Hearing Sets Stage for Final Negotiations

May 26, 2017 - Gotham Gazette by Samar Khurshid

Although Ferreras-Copeland commended the de Blasio administration for funding key initiatives -- air conditioning in public school classrooms, immigrant support services, planning for borough-based jails in the effort to close the Rikers Island complex -- and reducing excess capital appropriations, she criticized the lack of funding for universal school lunch, senior services, youth jobs, and the Emergency Food Assistance Program. The budget, “as it currently stands, does not appropriately reflect the vision of both the Council and the Mayor,” she said.


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