Student protesters taking to the streets Saturday for the March for Our Lives are finding support from many businesses, offering everything from free rides to free food.
Lyft, the ride-sharing service is providing $1.5 million worth of free rides to the protest in D.C. and to demonstrations in 49 cities across the nation, including in Parkland, Fla., where the Valentine's Day shooting took place.
“Your bravery and intelligence have provided a renewed and much needed hope for our future,” Lyft co-founders John Zimmer and Logan Green wrote in a letter to Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School students. “We are incredibly grateful for the example you are setting.”
Many D.C.-based restaurants have joined forces to feed thousands of students.
Led by Chef José Andrés, who was named the James Beard Foundation’s Humanitarian of the Year in February, restaurants formed the Food For Our Lives initiative to give free meals or discounts to students 18 and younger Saturday.
“#FoodForOurLives proudly stands with the students who have come to make their voices heard against gun violence,” according to a news release about the grassroots effort.
Ice Cream Jubilee founder Victoria Lai told Stoneman Douglas High students and march organizers that she was inspired by their leadership.
“In my small way, I want to thank you for setting aside your childhood to be the adult voice of action that our country needs," Lai wrote in a letter offering students a free treat after the protest at her business' two D.C. locations.
Shake Shack: The Union Station location, 50 Massachusetts Ave. N.E., is holding a poster making event 3-5:30 p.m. Friday and will give out free ShackBurger to participants of all ages.
Free Lyft rides
There are two ways to get a free ride to one of 50 select marches through the ride-sharing service.
You can sign up for a free ride by RSVPing to the rally at www.marchforourlives.com/events. Ride codes will cover the cost of a ride up to $15 and will be distributed Friday to those who have RSVPed.
If you can’t RSVP, ride codes will be available at www.lyft.com/MFOL starting Saturday morning.
Rides codes will cover the cost of a ride up to $15 and anyone under 18 will need to be accompanied by an adult.
Free food for student marchers
Free meals: ThinkFoodGroup, &pizza, Eat Well DC and Sugar Shack Donuts are working together to provide free meals to students 18 and younger with valid ID, while supplies last. Students can pick up the meals at these distribution points:
Sugar Shack Donuts: Free doughnut to high school students Saturday with a valid ID at these two locations: 1932 9th Street N.W. and 804 N. Henry St., D.C.; and 804 N. Henry St., Alexandria.
Ice Cream Jubilee: From 3-5 p.m. Saturday, high school march participants get a free scoop of ice cream when they show their high school IDs and a photo of them at the march, while supplies last at either location. All other participants will get 10% off a regular scoop for the two hours. The D.C. shops are at 301 Water Street S.E. and 1407 T Street N.W.
Pleasant Pops: The company will be handing out free frozen pops during the D.C. event, courtesy of an anonymous donor.
RareSweets: The bakery at 963 Palmer Alley N.W. is giving students with a school ID a free granola bar and 50% off their purchase.
Any student 18 and under with a valid ID can receive a 50% discount 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday at the following restaurants, part of the Food for Our Lives initiative:
Beefsteak: Foggy Bottom/George Washington University (800 22nd St. N.W.); Dupont Circle (1528 Connecticut Ave. N.W.); Tenleytown (4531 Wisconsin Ave. N.W.).
Buredo: Franklin Square (825 14th St. N.W.); Dupont Circle (1213 Connecticut Ave. N.W.; H Street (625 H St. N.E.); Tenleytown (4235 Wisconsin Ave. N.W.); Bethesda (10219 Old Georgetown Rd., Bethesda, Md.)
Matchbox: Carry-out orders only. 14th Street (1901 14th St. N.W.); Capitol Hill (521 8th St S.E.); Chinatown (713 H St. N.W.).
Shake Shack: Dupont Circle (1216 18th St. N.W.); F Street (800 F St. N.W., DC); Union Station (50 Massachusetts Ave. N.E.); Logan Circle (1400 14th St. N.W.); Navy Yard (54 M St SE, DC); The Wharf (975 Wharf Street S.W); Tysons Corner Center (7924 Tysons Corner Center, McLean, Va.); Pentagon City (1100 S Hayes St., Arlington, Va.); Inner Harbor (400 E Pratt St., Baltimore, Md.); MGM National Harbor (101 MGM National Ave., Oxon Hill, Md.); Columbia Mall (10300 Little Patuxent Parkway, Columbia, Md.).
Sweetgreen: These D.C. locations are participating: City Vista (1065 5th St. N.W.); Foggy Bottom (2221 I St. N.W.); The Yards (1212 4th St. S.E.); Capitol Hill (221 Pennsylvania Ave. S.E.); Glover Park (2200 Wisconsin Ave. N.W.); Georgetown (1044 Wisconsin Ave. N.W.); Dupont Circle (1512 Connecticut Ave. N.W.); Logan Circle (1471 P St. N.W.); 14th St (1325 W St. N.W.); West End (2238 M St. N.W.)
Cava: These D.C. locations are participating: Chinatown (707 H St. N.W.); Columbia Heights (3105 14th St. N.W.); Dupont (1222 Connecticut Ave. N.W.); H Street (523 H St. N.E.); Navy Yard (52 M St. N.E.); Shaw (1921 8th St. N.W.); Tenleytown (4237 Wisconsin Ave. N.W.); Union Station (50 Massachusetts Ave. N.E.)
Taco Bamba: 777 I St. N.W., in D.C.’s Chinatown.
Protein Bar: 398 7th Ave. N.W., in Penn Quarter.
Rasa: This restaurant located in the Navy Yard, 1247 First Street S.E., will have extended hours from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
EatWell restaurants: This isn’t a special for the kids but one for adults 21 and older. Logan Tavern, The Bird, The Pig, Grillfish and the Commissary will have a special March for Our Lives cocktail with 100% of the proceeds going to Everytown for Gun Safety.
Equinox Restaurant: The restaurant at 818 Connecticut Ave. N.W. is opening early Saturday and grilling on its outdoor patio. Items include hot dogs for $5, hamburgers and veggie burgers for $7 and chicken sandwiches for $8.
Kelly Tyko is a consumer columnist and retail reporter for Treasure Coast Newspapers and TCPalm.com, part of the USA TODAY NETWORK. Read her Bargainista tips at TCPalm.com/Bargainista and follow her on Twitter @KellyTyko. Sign up for her weekly newsletter at www.tcpalm.com/featured-newsletter/bargainistabest.