Building Healthy Communities

Project Title

Universal Free School Lunch (Phase 2)

Grant Amount


Priority Area

Building Healthy Communities

Date Awarded

March 1, 2017






By making meals free for all students and delinking school food from family income, universal free school lunch can help ensure that children receive adequately nutritious food, which in turn improves children’s health and education outcomes.

In 2014, NYHealth awarded Community Food Advocates (CFA) a grant to work toward the systemwide implementation of universal school lunch throughout all New York City public schools. To help advance these goals, NYHealth awarded Global Strategy Group (GSG) a grant in 2016 to provide support for CFA’s campaign. Although universal school lunch was not included in the preliminary New York City budget for fiscal year 2018, the increased media and public attention to this issue has led the City administration to begin discussing the prospects of expanding the program. In 2017, NYHealth awarded GSG a follow-up grant to continue to help CFA advance its work.

Under this grant, GSG continued to work with NYHealth and CFA to identify and understand relevant key stakeholders, foster media relations, and provide implementation support for universal school lunch. Specifically, GSG identified key influencers; ensured the campaign’s messages reach the right audiences at the right time; and used social media and press outreach to build broad and strong support for the program.