City Councilman Rafael Espinal (D-Brooklyn) announced Wednesday he wants to expand school lunch menus to include halal food options for Muslim students.

About 20% of city schoolchildren - 170,000 students - are Muslim and often go a full day without eating school lunch because of religious dietary restrictions, Espinal said. He said the proposal for universal free lunch, which was introduced by Public Advocate Letitia James earlier this month, should be inclusive of all students according to faith-based needs.

"While there is an ongoing conversation of providing free lunch to every student, we must also be progressive in instituting lunches that respect the faiths of New York City's diverse population," Espinal said.

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