Universal lunch may help NYC students view their schools as safer places, a report finds

Universal lunch may help NYC students view their schools as safer places, a report finds

Universal free lunch doesn’t just provide meals for children. New York City’s school food program improves students’ perceptions of bullying, fighting, and safety at their schools, according to a new study.

The report, from Washington D.C.-based think tank Urban Institute, used New York City students’ responses to annual surveys as well as school meal participation data from the city’s education department to investigate the impact of free school lunches.

While previous research has found that free lunch boosts academic performance, this study was the first of its kind to look at its impact on school climate, or students’ perceptions of their learning environment.

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