Calls are growing for the city to provide free lunch to all public school students — regardless of income.
Supporters of the idea rallied on the steps of City Hall yesterday.
They want Mayor Bill de Blasio to set aside federal funding for a universal free school lunch program in the next city budget.
Many school kids already qualify for free or reduced-price lunch based on income.
But critics say some kids feel stigmatized by accepting free food while others have to pay.
"No kid in the school would go hungry on the fear of being identified as being poor."
"You can do all kinds of initiatives around educational excellence, and they will all fall flat if students don't have food in their stomachs."
A spokeswoman for the mayor says free lunch is already offered to more than 350,000 students across the city, and that the mayor's office is looking into expanding the program.