City lawmakers, parents and students are calling on Mayor Bill de Blasio to include universal free lunch in his final budget.
They say many families that don't qualify for free lunch struggle to pay for it, while others feel stigmatized by opting in.
They say this causes many students to go hungry during the day and hope to open the program to everyone soon.
"Universal free school lunch tackles this growing problem head-on by making sure that every student that walks into our schools gets a wholesome nutritious meal regardless of their income background," said City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito.
Public Advocate Letitia James said the city will get more federal funding and save on administrative costs, though the Department of Education says universal free lunch could affect how federal funding is distributed to schools in low-income areas.