Cafeteria Culture

by Leah Butz
Cafeteria Culture
c/o The Lower Eastside Girls Club
Address Line 2
402 East 8th Street
New York
Secondary Address
c/o Fund for the City of New York
121 Avenue of the Americas, 6th Fl
NY NY 10013
Phone Number
(347) 618-1875
Director, Manager or CEO
Debby Lee Coheen
Community members served per month
Volunteers per month
Number of staff/employees
Annual Budget
Year Started
Major Funders
New York City Council
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region 2, Trash Free Waters Grant
New England Interstate Water Pollution Control Commission (NEIWPCC)
Johnson Ohana Foundation
Fund for the City of New York
Lily Auchincloss Foundation
Patagonia NYC
FJC- a Foundation of Philanthropic Funds
Lucius and Eva Eastman Fund
Individual donors
Latest Projects - the movie, toolkit and impact campaign for a #PlasticFreeFuture.

Youth Advocates -
Interesting Fact
Cafeteria Culture (CafCu), founded in 2009 as Styrofoam Out of Schools, catalyzed the complete elimination of styrofoam trays from all NYC public schools and ten other large urban school districts, resulting in half a billion toxic and polluting styrofoam trays diverted per year from landfills, incinerators and student meals.

In December 2013, the NYC Council voted unanimously to ban styrene foam from the entire city! CafCu's role was critical to this success, collaborating with 15 other nonprofits and taking the lead in grassroots lobbying.

CafCu produced our first feature documentary, Microplastic Madness, which follows the journey of 5th graders from PS 15, living in Red hook, Brooklyn on the frontline of Climate Change as they take extraordinary action to stop plastic pollution, including leading the first Plastic Free Lunch Day in a New York City school (learn more at
Areas Served
New York City wide
Major Issues
- Plastic Free school food service
- Zero Waste
- Climate Justice
- Plastic Free legislation
- Youth Advocacy
Frequently used hashtags
#PlasticFree #zerowaste #climateemergency #youthaction #MicroplasticMadness#sustainability #zerowasteschools
  • Microplastic Madness - the movie
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