School meals are an important source of nutrition for the approximately 1.1 million students who attend New York City’s public schools, especially for those students who come from very low-income households.
Since the 2017-2018 academic year, New York City has adopted universal free school lunch throughout the city’s more than 1,000 public elementary, middle and high schools. Despite the provision of free lunch (and free breakfast which has been available since the 2003-2004 academic year), the rate of childhood food insecurity in New York City tends to be higher than the overall NYC population, and school meal participation rates vary significantly from school to school, even within the same district and in areas of high potential need.
In this session, participants will hear from researchers at CUNY Urban Food Policy Institute and invited guests, including community advocates and students, on how data from NYC Open Data were used to develop a dashboard prototype to visualize school meal participation rates in NYC’s public schools.
The prototype was developed as part of a larger project to visualize aspects of food insecurity, in collaboration with a wide range of academic, government, and non-profit experts.
Participants who attend this session will also hear from a range of individuals with varying perspectives on factors influencing participation and discuss how we can utilize this information to better support initiatives to increase school meal participation.
- Nevin Cohen, Director, CUNY Urban Food Policy Institute and Associate Professor, CUNY Graduate School of Public Health & Health Policy
- Yvette Ng, PhD Student, CUNY Graduate School of Public Health & Health Policy and Research Assistant, CUNY Urban Food Policy Institute
- Rositsa T. Ilieva, Director of Policy, CUNY Urban Food Policy Institute
- Liz Accles, Executive Director, Community Food Advocates
- Anna Lilia Araiza, Director of Youth Leadership, Community Food Advocates
- Faith Catherine Jones, Youth Food Advocate, Community Food Advocates
- Yasmine Bonilla, Youth Food Advocate, Community Food Advocates
- Ashley Yang, Youth Food Advocate, Community Food Advocates