All of New York City’s 1.1. million public school students will now receive their lunch free-of-charge.
The free lunch service was announced on Wednesday and became effective on Thursday when children returned to school for the new academic year. The New York Times reports that 75 percent of children attending NYC public schools are already eligible for reduced or free lunch and that the majority of students in the district are impoverished.
The new amenity is expected to save families in the Big Apple $300 a year. It will also prevent students with unpaid lunch bills from being refused service and humiliated in the presence of peers.
The city will be joining Boston, Dallas, Chicago and Detroit in its elimination of lunch costs for public school students.
“This is about equity,” New York City Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña said on Wednesday. “All communities matter.”