Actions and Activities
Youth leaders have testified at public hearings, speaking to their personal experiences around stigma in the lunchroom. Read transcripts of student testimonies here.
Meetings with Elected Officials
Youth have met with New York City Council Members to garner support for the Lunch 4 Learning campaign.
Social Media Campaigns
Student leaders play a vital role in the campaign’s social media strategies. In 2013 and 2014, students developed and carried out an exciting selfie campaign, gathering hundreds of photographs with messages that were sent to Mayor de Blasio. These selfies, taken from a wide range of stakeholders throughout New York City - students, parents, teachers, pediatricians, and elected officials - contain powerful messages in support of free school lunch.
Youth-led Press Conference
In May 2015, student leaders organized a press conference in response to Mayor de Blasio’s announcement that universal free school lunch would not be expanded to elementary and high schools. In addition to emceeing and speaking at the event, students also delivered a booklet of selfies and a letter to the Mayor. We were joined by Council Member Reynoso and other coalition members such as Local 372.
As part of their ongoing work to build a movement for food justice, youth leaders are actively engaged in community education around Lunch 4 Learning and other food-related social justice issues. Our youth leaders regularly hold workshops, presentations, and trainings with organizations across New York City.
In November 2015, youth from several partner organizations planned and held the Y.E.S.! Youth Empowerment Summit for Food Justice Advocacy. The Summit was held at St. Paul’s Chapel in lower Manhattan brought together over 100 young people from organizations throughout New York City and the northeast region. Through youth-led panels, speakers, and workshops, participants learned about how other youth use advocacy as a tool for creating systemic change around food and related social justice issues. The Summit created a space for youth to connect with each other and build a network toward a more just, equitable, and fair food system for all.
In 2014, youth developed and collected signatures for a petition for universal free school lunch. The petition contained over (?) signatures and was delivered to the mayor.
Lunch 4 Learning youth leaders have been quoted by major media publications. In June 2015, Lunch 4 Learning youth advocate Tianhao Zhang told the Daily News, ""Some of my friends mentally struggle everyday, saying, 'I have $2. Should I pay for lunch or pencils or pens." Read the article here.
Most recently, Bushwick Campus student and Lunch 4 Learning advocate Aminata Abdouramane wrote an op-ed, "How the shame of 'free-free' inspired my push for universal free lunch." The piece was published by Chalkbeat and covered by Forbes.
Click here for further info on youth media activity.