For school students around the world, lunchtime arguably represents one of the most important parts of the day. It offers the chance for children to nutritionally recharge their batteries and feed their brains ahead of afternoon classes. So with that in mind, despite the financial difficulties some education authorities may face, free school meals are vital to a significant number of children. However, New York City’s public schools have recently faced a grilling over free lunches after some stomach-churning evidence emerged.
At the start of the school year in September 2017, New York public schools lunches were made free of charge. Due to the financial constraints of many NYC families, the move had long been backed by senior local government officials. A number of food experts and several individuals on the New York City Council were particularly forthright in their views.
Of the 1.1 million students attending New York public schools, a significant percentage were already eligible to receive free lunches prior to that decision. Officials claimed that 75 percent of the city’s student body qualified for free or reduced-priced meals as a result of poverty. With the new initiative in place, however, an additional 200,000 children would now be able to access lunch free of charge. This move would have an annual cost to NYC of $750 million.