Select Region
Let's Get Social!

Rachael Ray Launches Petition for Free NYC School Lunches

Rachael Ray Launches Petition for Free NYC School Lunches

Rachael Ray, in conjunction with the Lunch 4 Learning (L4L) campaign, has launched a petition via urging New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio to allow all of NYC's public school students to have universal free lunch, according to a press release.

Ray, a daytime host and author, is also a long-time child nutrition advocate who is working to end the bullying and insecurity that students face as a result of a school system that only offers free lunch for NYC's poorest children. L4L, a diverse, coalition-based campaign spearheaded by Community Food Advocates, is made up of NYC parents, students, pediatricians, including the New York chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics and NYC Council Members. Together, they have been pushing Mayor de Blasio to expand universal free lunch to all NYC public school students since 2014.

"I've launched my petition urging Mayor Bill de Blasio to ensure that he sticks to his commitment of providing New York City public school students with a nutritious free lunch without regard to income," says Ray. "All children should have access to a nutritious hot meal at lunch, end of story. Kids with empty bellies can't learn."

Statistics show that 75 percent of NYC's 1.1 million public school children have family incomes low enough to be eligible for free or reduced priced school lunch, yet hundreds of thousands of eligible students don’t participate because of the program's poverty stigma.

When campaigning for office, Mayor de Blasio deemed universal free lunch as "crucial.” However, in 2014 he only provided funding for freestanding middle schools (grades 6th- 8th). It was successful, as 7,600 additional students starting eating lunch, but Ray says that “it’s time for Mayor de Blasio to make good on his campaign promise and provide free lunch to all of NYC’s public school students.”

Major cities such as Chicago, Boston, Philadelphia, Washington D.C. and more have already implemented universal free lunch. The Mayor is set to finalize NYC’s school budget in the first few days of June, so if you want to sign the petition, go to It already has over 27,000 signatures, but they are looking to reach at least 35,000. And for more information about L4L and its campaign, visit 

RELATED: Find More Schools in Your Area

Sign up for our newsletter to receive the latest updates on fun events and other family activities in your area.

Main image via

More News Articles:

What Is Open in NYC on Christmas Day?

Christmas day is a wonderful time to explore the attractions of the New York City area. Here's what is open in NYC on Christmas day this year.

Latest News:

LuminoCity Festival of Holiday Lights is Coming to Manhasset Nov. 12

LuminoCity Holiday Lights Festival is returning for the 2021 season on Nov. 12 and will be on display through Jan. 9, 2022.

Family Activities:

Traveling Exhibit: Age of the Dinosaurs

Long Island Children's Museum Jan. 22, 2022 - May. 29, 2022

Go back in tine and experience animatronic prehistoric creatures that look, move and make sounds as they did when they roamed the earth. 

Have a Laugh:

Best Memes of the Week for Parents

Here are the funniest parenting memes from Instagram, Facebook, and Reddit this week.

Author: Linda DiProperzio has written extensively on parenting issues for Parents, American Baby, Parenting, and Family Circle, among others. She lives in New York with her husband and two sons. See More

Featured Listings:

St. Patrick Youth Community

St. Patrick Youth Community

Smithtown, NY St. Patrick's is a wonderful place for children and young people to be together, have fun, to learn and grow. We are a community where there is someth...

A. Fantis Parochial School

A. Fantis Parochial School

Brooklyn Heights, NY Since 1963, A. Fantis Parochial School of Sts. Constantine and Helen Cathedral in Brooklyn Heights has been educating and nurturing children from pre-...

Inflatable Party Adventures

Inflatable Party Adventures

Here at IPA, we specialize in delivering the type of fun GUARANTEED to make your next event one to be remembered and talked about for years to come! W...

Laser Bounce – Family Fun Center

Laser Bounce – Family Fun Center

Glendale, NY We are located at Atlas Park Mall Lower Level Regal Cinema Building NYC’s Premiere Indoor Fun Center featuring a Gigantic Arcade, Laser Tag, Virtua...