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Activists celebrate lunch victory

The UFT’s Karen Alford, Henry Garrido and Liz Accles celebrate the city’s decision to fund universal free lunch at DC 37 on Nov. 20.
Advocates for free school lunch gathered to celebrate their victory. The city’s 1.5 million children are now eligible for a free hot lunch thanks to the years of struggle waged by activists. Those activists, from DC 37, Community Food Advocates, the United Federation of Teachers and the Lunch 4 Learning coalition celebrated their achievement on Nov. 20 at DC 37.

“We reversed decades of bad policy,” said Liz Accles, executive director of Community Food Advocates. There are now an additional 200,000 students in the schools enjoying a free lunch.

She acknowledged the contribution of DC 37 in the coalition, saying, “You guys have been an incredible partner.”

“This is beginning, not the end, to make this the best school lunch program in the country,” said DC 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido.

The activists also thanked Public Advocate Letitia James, City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, and City Council members Margaret Chin and Mark Levine for their support.