HASBROUCK HEIGHTS/WOOD-RIDGE, NJ - While schools are shutdown and students and parents master the art of remote learning, a small team of staffers continues to make sure local school children still receive their lunches Monday to Friday.

Hasbrouck Heights families who qualify for the free or reduced lunches for Pre-K through 12th grade students can pick up a grab-and-go bag lunch prepared by the district's food vendor Maschio's. The lunch includes a bagel, yogurt, carrots, string cheese, fruit, and milk. Lunches can be picked up in the middle school entrance on Paterson Avenue from 10am to noon. Maschio's staff observes the proper sanitary protocol including wearing gloves and wiping down surfaces. The school's security staff is also on hand to help expedite the process.

Superintendent of Schools Dr. Matthew Helfant said that only ten percent of the qualified families are taking advantage of the lunch program, even after multiple reminders to families, and encouraged families to get lunch.

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Of the shutdown, Helfant mentioned that the staff and administrators "did an excellent job monitoring everything," noting they put the plan (for remote learning) together and were well-prepared." He said the custodial and grounds staff disinfect daily and "deep clean the entire building."  He also noted the "tech guys are working round the clock." He said that Mayor Jack DeLorenzo has "done a great job keeping us up to speed with everything happening."

The Wood-Ridge School District has set up the lunch program as a drive up operation in the parking lot at Wood-Ridge Intermediate School. Parents can enter the lot through the Second Street entrance. The grab-and-go bags from food service vendor Nu-Way is a choice of either a bagel with cream cheese, vegetable, and milk, or turkey sandwich, apple and milk. The hours are 11 am to 1 pm.  According to Jean of Nu-way, the district also has set up grab-and-go lunches at the Robert L. Craig School in Moonachie and in addition to two satellite locations. She observed that the "little kids seem to like the normalcy of school" when getting their lunch.

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