As a partner with Wireless Zone, Jonah Engler recently created a network of 22 franchises across four states. As a means of giving back to his community, Jonah Engler supports the United Federation of Teachers (UFT), the New York affiliate of the American Federation of Teachers. In addition to advocating for the interests of New York City public school educators, the organization keeps members informed about important topics related to education and fights for important gains among students.
In late December, members of the UFT joined individuals from the Lunch 4 Learning coalition to deliver more than 9,000 postcards directly to New York City Hall. These postcards were all written by parents of public school students to ask that free lunch be provided to all children in the school system. At present, more than 76 percent of students in the city already qualify for either free or reduced-price lunches because of the income level of their parents.
Educators worry that many student go hungry because of the stigma of receiving free and reduced lunches. Rather than feel the shame associated with the process, children simply go without food. Estimates show that an additional 47,000 students would eat lunch if it became free for every student. Because the federal and state governments cover so much of the cost, the city would pay less than a dollar per student.