The facts on universal school lunch


May 18, 2017

This week, CCC released Provide Financial Relief to Struggling New Yorkers, a new analysis  finding that there are nearly 110,000 public school students whose families do not qualify for free lunch but earn moderately-low incomes that make paying for bills, including lunch fees, a real struggle.

The children from these families, earning between 185%-275% of poverty ($34,000-$52,000 for a family of 3), could benefit tremendously if their schools provided universal free lunch.

Despite the fact that universal school lunch increases the number of school children who eat lunch every day and only requires a small investment by the City, the City still has not expanded the universal free school lunch program to all public school students.

CCC, along with our colleagues in the Lunch4Learning Campaign, have been advocating for universal free lunch since the Bloomberg Administration.  Despite an interest in universal lunch, the de Blasio administration has not expanded its universal free lunch program beyond stand-along middle schools.

Children from families earning under 185% of the federal poverty level are eligible for free lunch.  Unfortunately, for many of those low-income students who do not attend a free lunch school, the stigma associated with being in the free lunch program prevents the children from eating lunch.

NBC New York and NY 1 reported on CCC’s report and the struggles these moderately low-income families face when trying to pay for school meals.

CCC is once again urging the Mayor and the City Council to help address income inequality and ensure that school children have a healthy lunch by including universal free lunch in the upcoming budget.


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