HACKENSACK, N.J. — Hackensack officials are announcing the launch of a supplementary school meal delivery program designed to ensure that students and families in need receive meals during the COVID-19 pandemic.

While schools are closed, the Hackensack Board of Education has been providing meals to over 450 students per day at Hackensack Middle School. In order to ensure that meals are provided to those most in need, the program will now be supplemented by a meal delivery service twice weekly to ensure that all daily breakfast and lunch meals are provided to students who qualify. Officers from the Hackensack Police Department will provide security and support for delivery drives. 

“The Council and I commend the School District on its plan to increase participation in the school meal plan, and we are glad to assist in launching it,” said Mayor John Labrosse. “Our parents are already making enormous sacrifices to keep their children focused on virtual learning while facing tremendous financial uncertainties and anxieties. Picking up school meals will be one less thing they have to worry about.”

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While over 450 students meals are picked up per day at Hackensack Middle School, it became apparent to the schools that there may be a greater need. The district reached out to parents to assess their concerns and determine how participation in the program could be increased. Some of the top concerns included transportation; parents not being able to pick up during designated pick-up times due to work; fear of COVID-19 spread; and wanting to adhere to best social distancing practices. This feedback was taken into consideration, and thus, a meal delivery plan was coordinated by the school district, city administration, and the police department.

The delivery service, however, will only be provided to families that are identified as being in need of this service. Any families who are already picking meals up from Hackensack Middle School on a daily basis should continue to do so. 

“Our entire community is working to get through this crisis together, and we thank the Mayor and Council for their assistance in launching this meal delivery program,” said Hackensack Superintendent of Schools Robert Sanchez. “Based on extensive community outreach and feedback, we believe that this program will allow us to significantly expand our reach and help us reach our goal of ensuring that all of our students have access to nutritious meals during this crisis.” 

Here are details of the proposed program beginning Monday, April 27:

  • Deliveries will only be provided to those families who have been identified as having a real need. If you have been picking up your children’s meal at Hackensack Middle School on a daily basis, please continue to do so;
  • Deliveries are on Mondays and Thursdays during a two hour time window (9 a.m. -11 a.m.);
  • No more than a 3-day meal supply delivered at a time (per N.J. Dept. of Agriculture requirements);
  • A member of the city’s police department will be present for deliveries to ensure the safety of both residents and families, as well as to ensure compliance with social distancing measures.

Further details and information are available on the city’s COVID19 information portal at hackensack.org/covid19.