CHICAGO - MARCH 20: Students at Nettelhorst Elementary School, on lunch, dig into a salad bar in the school's lunchroom March 20, 2006 in Chicago, Illinois. U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) stopped by the school to visit the new lunch program called, "Cool Foods," as part of the Healthy Schools Campaign. Nettelhorst is one of three Chicago public schools participating in the new lunch program offering salad bars. (Photo by Tim Boyle/Getty Images)

NEW YORK — Every student in New York City public schools will be eligible to receive free lunch starting Thursday, the schools chancellor said.
Free midday meals will be available to all schools and students that participate in SchoolFood, including charter and non-public schools, the city’s education department said Wednesday.
City leaders said providing free lunch for the city’s 1.1 million students will support kids’ health and their education.
“For so many students, school is the only place where they have access to a nutrition meal,” Assemblymember Linda B. Rosenthal said. “Providing free lunch … will ensure that (students’) bodies are fed so that their brains can be nourished.”
Last year, a majority of city students — 75 percent — were eligible to receive free or reduced-price lunch under federal guidelines. But many eligible students haven’t recieved the free meals, often because parents neglect to fill out the required paperwork.
An additional 200,000 students will be eligible …
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