NY1 News and NYT report that all 1.1 million students in New York City are now eligible for a free breakfast. To offset this, there will be a “slight” hike–of 50 percent–in the prices of school lunches (although, still, only to $1.50) for those not eligible for a reduced-price lunch. However, the increase in the price of lunches is apparently to get more people to apply to get the subsidized lunches.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg spoke about the breakfast change during his weekly radio address.
“The kids who come to school without a decent meal in his or her stomach, they don’t learn anything,” said the mayor. “People say, ‘Why give the kids breakfast?’ Well, if you want to educate the kids, which is in everybody’s interest, they have to have a meal too.”
I suppose it would be out of the question to have the parents feed them?
I certainly don’t have any problem with giving free meals to kids whose parents are struggling to feed them. But NYC is an incredibly affluent place for the most part. So, why not either 1) continue to target the free meals by income or, if stigma is considered an obstacle, 2) limit the “everybody eats free” program to the schools or school districts in the city in less affluent neighborhoods?