New York, NY — Today at 1:00PM, Public Advocate Letitia James will be joined by food advocates on the steps of City Hall to announce a proposal that would help parents accept the universal free lunch that is offered to all New York City public school students. Over 75% of city public school students are eligible for free or reduced-price school lunch. That’s an estimated 780,000 students. However, because of the poverty stigma associated with school lunch, the school district ends up throwing away pounds of bologna and oodles and noodles daily. An estimated 250,000 income eligible city students do not participate in the school lunch program. “These parents to need to stop being prideful and start having their children accept the mayonnaise sandwiches the school provides,” said James, adding that it may be downright embarrassing for a child to sit there and rip the red stripe off of the bologna, shameful even, but it’s free. “They need to look past the block of government cheese and powdered milk and accept the free lunch.” Research has shown that African-American students who eat free lunches made up of powdered milk, bologna, and saltine crackers are less hungry, and more likely to be attentive in class. Sources confirmed that New York City Public Advocate Letitia James is working with chefs to expand the menu to include grout, saltine cereal with milk, and meatless neckbone soup for the start of the 2014-15 school year.