No Kid Hungry and DOE celebrate National School Lunch Week

No Kid Hungry, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping feed children across the country, has teamed up with the New York City Department of Education (DOE) to celebrate this year’s National School Lunch Week.

From Oct. 10 to Oct. 14, the DOE and No Kid Hungry are thanking dedicated school staff for providing free meals to NYC students every day. The free lunch program ensures that students who may not be able to afford consistent, healthy meals get the nutrition they need in order to grow and learn.

“When our students are well-fed and cared for they perform better inside and outside the classroom, which is why we are fully committed to providing every NYC public student with free, nutritious and nourishing meals each day,” said DOE Office of Food and Nutrition Services Senior Executive Director Chris Tricarico. “I’m grateful National School Lunch Week provides us the opportunity to recognize the essential work our school food service workers do day in and day out.” 

Studies indicate that the meals received at school are oftentimes the most balanced and nutritious ones received all day, and that when students are provided with regular, healthy meals they are less likely to be tired, retain information taught in class better and are overall more attentive. 

To celebrate and bring attention to the hard work of school staff to provide for their students, school cook Valerie Baker was honored by the DOE and No Kids Hungry New York for her dedicated service to East Harlem’s PS 83, which prepares more than 1,000 lunches each day for students.

Baker, who has been working at PS 83 for 25 years, received the honor on Oct. 12, and her long-term community service was recognized by No Kid Hungry as essential to her community.

“Kids couldn’t learn in class without cooks like Ms. Baker serving free, healthy lunches every single day,” said Rachel Sabella, Director of No Kid Hungry New York on Wednesday. “This National School Lunch Week, we’re honoring the everyday heroes across New York City public schools who provide the consistent nutrition kids need to learn, grow and achieve their dreams.”

To learn more about School Lunch Week and the child hunger crisis, visit