The New York City Department of Education announced Wednesday that it will be providing free lunch to all public school students in the city during the 2017-2018 school year, which is a good thing, because no child in this country should be hungry, no matter his or her circumstance.
WABC-TV reports that schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña said that an additional 200,000 students will be able to receive free lunch through the Free School Lunch for All program. Only 75 percent of city students were eligible for free lunch last year.
According to the district, the new program is possible because the district is now eligible to receive the highest reimbursement from the federal government through the Community Eligibility Provision.
In a press release, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said, “We know that students cannot learn or thrive in school if they are hungry all day.”
Truer words have never been spoken, and now all the students in New York City public schools will have access to free breakfast and lunch daily.
This announcement comes on the heels of similar moves in other cities around the country.
Last week, in response to Hurricane Harvey, the Houston Independent School District announced that it would be providing three meals a day for all students during the 2017-2018 school year.
In St. Paul, Minn., a college professor has started a fund in the name of Philando Castile, the school-cafeteria supervisor who was shot and killed by a St. Anthony, Minn., police officer last year. The fund is set up to pay off lunch debts for students at the elementary school where Castile worked and would often pay out of his own pocket so that students could eat.
Hopefully these programs will start a movement around the country. It’s shameful that in 2017 in the United States, a hungry child incurs a debt just trying to get through the school day.
Read more at WABC-TV.