New York students' lunch hour as early as 9 a.m.

Due to a shortage of cafeteria space in public schools, more than half of city students eat lunch before 11 a.m.

N.Y.—A whopping 56% of schools have started serving lunch by 11 a.m., according to an analysis of Education Department records by WNYC's SchoolBook.org website and the Daily News.

The new data also shows 113 city schools make some or all of their students eat their only meal of the school day by 10 a.m. — with no scheduled break for food again until instruction ends at around 3 p.m.

"If you're hungry in class it's distracting, because you can't really focus," said Lalita Sarjue, 18, a senior at Jamaica High School in Queens, who eats lunch at 9:07 a.m. — just 17 minutes after her school day begins at 8:50 a.m.

After that, the growing teen has more than five hours of class left, with no other breaks for food.

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