All New York City public school students will get free lunch

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NEW YORK (AP) -- New York City public schools will offer free lunch to every student when the new school year starts Thursday.  Schools Chancellor Carmen Farina announced the new lunch policy Wednesday.

About three-quarters of the city's 1.1 million public school pupils qualify for free or reduced-price lunch under federal guidelines. But many eligible students haven't received the free meals, often because parents neglect to fill out the required paperwork.

Advocates for child nutrition have long urged the city to ensure universal access by making lunch free for everyone.  Mayor Bill de Blasio, a Democrat, said free school lunch will "ensure that every kid in New York City has the fuel they need to succeed."  Several other U.S. school districts including Boston and Detroit already offer free lunch for all.