WOOD-RIDGE, NJ - When they were not adapting lesson plans and working with students in the new "remote learning" environment this spring, members of the Wood-Ridge Education Association were supporting healthcare workers on the frontline by providing meals at two area hospitals.

According to Lisa Ames, math teacher at Wood-Ridge Junior Senior High School, the teachers wanted to show community support to the healthcare workers who cared for patients battling COVID-19.

“We were able to use some of our yearly funds for COVID-related programs that would benefit our community and front line workers,” said Ames. “Our first thought was to help the hospital workers who live in Wood-Ridge and to show our support for them.”

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The Association utilized funds from the New Jersey Education Association (NJEA) PRIDE in Public Education campaign, which shares the success of New Jersey’s public schools while building community support and involvement.

The teachers had some inside help in coordinating the special meals. Catherine E. Doyle School nurse Teri Trivigno also works at Holy Name and “was the perfect person to help us connect with workers at Holy Name,” said Ames, who arranged for the meals to be provided by Johnny Speciale from Elite Party Services in Carlstadt on May 7.

Meghan Lang, a member of the Wood-Ridge High School Class of 2015, currently works as a nurse at Hackenback University Medical Center and was the point person for May 26 meals catered by Lucky Larry’s. 

“She was working in various COVID units at the time of our delivery, so she could make sure the food was delivered to the nurses and doctors on the frontlines,” said Ames.

Both lunches consisted of various meat, cheese, and vegetarian sandwiches.

In addition, the Wood-Ridge Education Association also donated $200 worth of non-perishable foods to the Assumption Food Pantry which is part of the Church of the Assumption of Our Blessed Lady on June 10, 2020, which was also made possible through the NJEA Pride funds as well.


(Editor's Note: Lisa Ames contributed to this article.)


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