Petition Closed
Petitioning Mayor of New York City Bill de Blasio

Please help stop children in NYC from going hungry!

36,819
Supporters

I'm Rachael Ray, and there’s nothing more I love than cooking for my family and friends. Through my Yum-o! organization, I provide recipes and tools in order to help kids and their families live a healthier lifestyle. I try to provide healthier eating options, whether at home or in school. This is especially important for our kids who need and rely on free school lunches for a meal during the day. This is why I am asking you to help hundreds of thousands of New York City public school students who currently struggle with hunger.

Please sign my petition asking NYC Mayor de Blasio to keep his commitment to New York City children and provide nutritious free school lunches to all NYC public school students without regard to income.

Nearly 90,000 public school students are homeless. In the school cafeteria they suffer from the double stigma of poverty and homelessness -- they are hungry, embarrassed that they might be humiliated by their classmates and they don’t have the money to buy food. Instead of focusing on learning, children are often distracted and worried about where their next meal may come from and how to pay for it. This is heartbreaking, and I know we can do better.

The solution is not more paperwork or bureaucracy. The solution is putting children first because there’s no need to play politics when we’re talking about children going hungry.

In 2013, when Bill de Blasio was a candidate for mayor, he agreed it’s “crucial” to provide this support for children. However, in 2014 he only provided funding for freestanding middle schools (grades 6th- 8th). 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.

The Mayor is a national figure in the largest city in the United States, and he is set to finalize the budget in the first few days of June, which is right around the corner! It’s crucial to have your support on my petition as soon as possible so Mayor de Blasio knows we expect him to be a public leader.

This is a broadly accepted plan, which the Mayor has the responsibility to implement. Universal free lunch is supported by the NYC Chapters of the American Academy of Pediatrics, the New York City Council, the New York City Public Advocate, CSA (The NYC Principals Union), the United Federation of Teachers, parent organizations from all corners of the city, and the many families whose kids bear the burden of going to school worrying because they owe school lunch fees their families simply cannot afford.

If we can make this happen in one of the greatest cities in the nation, just imagine how inspiring it will be for families across the country.

I know a hot school lunch is the only meal that many kids eat all day so I’m asking that you do two simple things – first, please sign this petition to show your support for universal free lunch in schools in NYC, and then, and most importantly, share it via your social networks.

Thank you!

Rachael Ray

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