Mayor Proposes to Slash Budget for Breakfast in the NY Classroom

Anti-hunger advocates are not pleased

Andrea Strong
Heated
Published in
4 min readMay 10, 2019

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Photo: Richard Kirk for Getty Images

As school districts in Newark, Los Angeles, and Dallas have built support for programs that ensure schools serve breakfast in classrooms, New York City has its version on the chopping block.

In a move that has angered anti-hunger advocates, Mayor Bill de Blasio has proposed cuts of $24 million from the Breakfast in the Classroom (BIC) program for New York City public schools, part of the $629 million in agency cuts in his 2020 executive budget.

The cuts would be broken down over four years, with $6 million each year in “savings from the BIC budget by allowing flexibility in implementation,” reads the Executive Budget for Fiscal Year 2020.

City Council and de Blasio have a June deadline to approve the new budget.

The BIC program has led to an increase in kids eating breakfast at school. Since the year before the program launched in the 2014–15 school year through 2017–18 school year — the most recent data available — more than 79,000 additional children are eating school breakfast in NYC.

Deputy press secretary for the Office of the Mayor, Raul Contreras, said the city “is not eliminating breakfast,” but giving principals a choice. An “opt-in”…

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Andrea Strong
Heated
Writer for

Andrea Strong is a journalist who covers the intersection of food, policy, business and law. She is also the founder of the NYC Healthy School Food Alliance.