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Students Help Raise $1,000 for Ice Cream Vendor Hit With Fine

By Valeria Ricciulli | May 26, 2016 7:43am
 PS 130 families raised more than $1,000 for ice cream vendor Carlos Palacios.
PS 130 families raised more than $1,000 for ice cream vendor Carlos Palacios.
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Valeria Ricciulli/DNAinfo

WINDSOR TERRACE — Don't mess with these kids' ice cream man.

Students from a Brooklyn school stepped in when a health department agent issued a $1,000 fine to local ice cream vendor Carlos Palacios because he didn't have a current license, according to a mother of one of the students.

"Protest! Protest!" the kids yelled when the agent tried to haul the cart away May 10, according to Karen Rafael, a Parkside School mom who started the online fundraiser

"He doesn't have [a permit decal] because there is a long wait list and there are limited permit decals available," she said.

Earlier this week, the children got together to give him the funds raised. 

"I didn't expect this," said Palacios with tears in his eyes. "It makes me so happy to know that the community supports me. Thank you."

"Now free ice cream for everyone!" he said, as the children chanted "Carlos, Carlos!"

The Parkside School families raised the funds in one day, according to Rafael, the mom who started the fundraiser. 

"I saw that Carlos was happy, so I was happy. We made it," Leila Mejia, 9, told DNAinfo New York.

Palacios, 51, has been selling ice cream near the Parkside School for eight years. He has the vendor's license but hasn't been able to get his cart permit due to the cap and a waiting list that he's on but has been closed since 2007. 

Basma Eid, from the Street Vendor Project (SVP), an organization that advocates for city vendors, said that thousands of vendors like Palacios have their street vendor license but haven't been able to get the cart license due to a cap in the number of licenses issued.

"Our 'Lift the Caps' campaign is aimed at people like Carlos, who are being criminalized for trying to feed their families," Eid told DNAinfo. "There's a waiting list [to get the cart permit or decal] that has been closed since 2007. There's people that have been on the list for 20 years."