PATERSON, NJ – An effort that has already seen the distribution of 1.7 million to Paterson students since classrooms closed in March is again expanding, Superintendent Eileen Shafer announced Monday.
Starting on Monday, November 23, Paterson Public Schools will be providing meals to the city's public school population of nearly 30,000 students seven days a week. The pickup sites will remain the same, but parents and caregivers will, between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m., be able to pick up meals on Mondays and Thursdays.
The effort, Shafer said, is part of the District's continued committment to the health and safety of its students, and is thought to be the first of its kind to expand to weekends in New Jersey. For many students, the meal is the only one they get during the day, Shafer said, a statement that was backed up by School 21 principal JoAnne Riviello backed up saying without it "some of our kids wouldn't eat otherwise."
"Students need breakfast to keep their minds alert," Riviello added before saying that staff at her school has continously reminded parents and caregivers to pick up the meals and coordinated with three area churches that are also helping the community by providing culturally appropriate meal alternatives as well.
"It's difficult enough to be out of school and have parent out of work," Mayor Andre Sayegh said. "We can't have our children be out of food also."
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