Liz Accles: Community Food Advocates Executive Director

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My Native Admission Statement: I have been the Executive Director of Community Food Advocates since 2013. My organization spearheads the coalition-based Lunch 4 Learning campaign. In 2017, we secured universal free school lunch that for all 1.1 million NYC public school students.We are now building on that success. For households with school aged children, there is no more effective anti-hunger program, that simultaneously addresses health and education equity, than school meals. I bring my 30 years of experience in advocacy, organizing, and coalition building, that is grounded in solid policy and budget analysis,to promote high impact public policies that strengthen  income and food support programs that are crucial to financially struggling New Yorkers.

Biggest Success?:

My biggest success has been spearheading the campaign in NYC for universal free school lunch for all 1.1 million public school students. This change reversed decades of public policy that had separated students by income in school cafeterias and imprinting a poverty stigma on the program that directly impacted student participation. Previously many students who were hungry and didn’t have other options just sat out from school lunch for fear of being shamed by their classmates. Right now an additional 31,000 students are eating school lunch each day – that is 5.4 million additional lunches being served per school year. We know that this is just the beginning. We are working to build on this foundation to make the school cafeteria a social hub that students seek out rather than avoid.

What drink do you need to get through the day and at the end (and how many)?

Two cups of coffee in the morning and one in the afternoon. Green tea on occasion.

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