The largest school district in the US just started offering free lunch for all 1.1 million students

Bill de blasioSusan Watts-Pool/Getty ImagesNew York Mayor Bill de Blasio eats lunch with fifth graders at P.S. 69 (Journey Prep School) on the first day of NYC public schools, September 4, 2014 in the Bronx borough of New York City.

The New York City Department of Education announced Wednesday that all public school students, regardless of family income, will receive free lunch.

The program — called Free School Lunch For All — aligns with the start of the school year, and ends a feud between New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and City Council members, Chalkbeat reported.

The de Blasio administration argued that the program could put Title I funds, which are federal dollars provided to low-income schools, at risk.

At New York City Public Schools, the largest district in the US with about 1.1 million students, nearly 800,000 students have been estimated to qualify for free lunch. But many don’t fill out the proper forms and miss out on the program due to the stigmatization associated with qualifying, Chalkbeat reported.

The program aims to remove the barriers for all kids to receive access to lunch at school.

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