THE TEMPORARY CLOSURES OF NYC SCHOOLS & LOCAL RESTAURANTS MAKES 2 COMMUNITIES VULNERABLE
TEMPORARY CLOSURE IMPACTS
1. 500,000 + K-12 STUDENTS WHO CAN'T GET THE FREE LUNCH THEY QUALIFY FOR
2. 100,000+ LOCAL RESTAURANT WORKERS AND OWNERS WHO CAN'T WORK
WE CAME UP WITH AN IDEA WITH DOUBLE IMPACT SO YOUR DONATIONS HELPS 2 COMMUNITIES
WHY GIFT CARDS
Emailing gift cards to NYC students uplifts spirits, feeds students, supports local restaurants, and promotes city pride and solidarity.
More specifically, young people get a break from cooking, can eat comforting food while staying inside, can take something off their family's plate, feel helpful rather than helpless in a difficult time, and/or gives them the freedom to choose what food to treat themselves or their family.
Gift cards also get students to order from local restaurants keeping them open and their workers employed, generates business in the local economy, keeps delivery and gig economy workers employed.
NYC SCHOOLS REQUESTING GIFT CARDS
We've already sent gift cards to one school! We're speaking to more schools and nonprofits, which will be listed below.
---Essex Street Academy
---Code Nation (nonprofit)
--------------------- THE TEAM'S VISION ---------------------
If this works well, we hope this process can expand beyond NYC. We will be getting feedback from students and addressing any hurdles that come up so other cities can duplicate or adopt this.
We will not be saying no to any student. We are in a very troubling moment and this is a time for generosity.
The team is NOT taking/making any money. All money (sans GoFundMe fee) goes straight to the gift cards, which goes directly to teachers, social workers, students or parents.
--------------------- FOR FAQs: THE RESEARCH AND EVIDENCE ---------------------
Given the time-sensitivity of this, we have moved very quickly but we still did our research.
---There are over 1MM K-12 students in NYC and according to a few scources, between 60- 75% were eligible for free or reduced lunch.
---Without public schools open, hundreds of thousands of students miss their free lunches. NYC Department of Education (DOE) is currently providing free lunches from 7:30-1:30pm at every public school to address that.
---HOWEVER, not all students are picking up the food being offered. There are vulnerabilities to these programs, i.e. free lunches are stigmatized aka "lunch shaming" and picking up lunches from schools prevent people from adhering to the social distancing recommendations. Districts all over the country are looking for innovative solutions to get food to students.
---Food banks and grassroots food relief programs are trying to solve food insecurity with drop-offs, fundraising, but it's getting harder to manage. It's also hyper-localized to certain restaurants or certain neighborhoods so we're trying to make this scalable.
---Local restaurants/casual fast food spots stay open through delivery to employ their workers and stay afloat. Many restaurant groups have formed grassroots organizations to raise money or petition to get gov't funding but implementation could take awhile.
---The government has recently passed a bill to help put money in citizens' pockets. Not only will it take a while (~3 weeks to get from when it's passed) but there are rules that would prevent these same students and their families from receiving that money, i.e. a debit account.
---GoFundMe takes a 2.9% processing fee, plus $0.30, per donation so about ~3% of the money we raise will go to them.
- Tameka Vasquez
- David O Moench
- Piyali Sircar
- Gilit Rosenbeg
- anna boteva