NEW YORK — There are still no students allowed inside Port Richmond High School, but its front door is open to hungry residents as a hub site for the city's pick up grab-and-go meals.
Since the service began back in March, the Department of Education says it has given out more than 60 million meals at about 400 locations citywide — and that the offering will continue when students return to school buildings next week.
What You Need To Know
- Grab-and-go meals will continue as students head back into schools, with changes
- Students learning in class will get breakfast and lunch in the building
- Those learning remotely can pick up meals from 9 a.m. until noon all week long at whatever school is most convenient for them.
- Adults in need will be able to get their meals after school, between 3 and 5 p.m.
"The city is continuing to distribute meals to the public, including to adults, which is really a big deal," said Joel Berg of Hunger Free America, a not-for-profit that advocates for food policies to end hunger.
There will be some changes to the program, however. There will be half as many sites: 200 instead of 400.
Students learning in class will get breakfast and lunch in the building, and those learning remotely can pick up meals from 9 a.m. until noon all week long at whatever school is most convenient for them.
Adults in need will be able to get their meals after school, between 3 and 5 p.m., to address concerns about allowing adults in the building while students are learning inside.
But allowing the program to continue to feed adults is considered vital as the city's hunger crisis continues to rage on.
"It’s tough out there. You know, people losing jobs, have families to feed, including themselves,” one man told NY1.
The city estimates there are now more than 2 million hungry New Yorkers, double the number before the coronavirus pandemic.
And a recent study by the Education Trust New York found that nearly half of New York City families are worried about having enough food for their kids. The education department pickup sites have been lifelines for these families.
"Some of my mom’s friends go and sometimes I go too if I’m with them,” a young woman told NY1. “I’ll go get lunch and stuff and I think my brother goes … If people need it, then yes, it’s helpful."
The new hours for adults will begin September 29. A list of the schools that will provide pickup meals is still being formulated.
For locations, head to nyc.gov/getfood for updates.
Did you know you can now watch, read and stay informed with NY1 wherever and whenever you want? Get the new Spectrum News app here.