“When the decision passed on March 13, 2020 to operate school remotely, as a result of Covid-19; the Food and Nutrition Services Department had one goal in mind – to have five thousand meals prepared and ready for distribution on Monday, March 16th. The Department, under the leadership of Executive Director Dr. Tonya McGill moved quickly. “Food Services has always strived to serve Newark’s children and families as best we can” said Dr. McGill. “We understand that circumstances aren’t always ideal, and so it remains our duty to make sure the children of Newark are always fed and well. We were able to do so during this pandemic with help from our amazing kitchen staff and everyone who came together to ensure that meal distributions did not stop even when remote instruction began.”
Not long after the decision was made, the Food Services rounded up its employees and got to work over the course of that first weekend. Making it a priority to stay consistent with supplying meals to the schools and children of Newark, they created menus, placed orders and used what was already at their disposal to get the job done.
Now, seven months later – they’ve added two new locations to the distribution sites and have reached an incredible milestone of more than 1 million meals distributed. As of today, over 1.2 million meals were distributed to the students and families in Newark. “We, as a school district pride ourselves in distributing over 1 million meals during a time such as this one,” said Superintendent Leon. He added, “This stands as a testament to what we are willing to do to ensure that our students are taken care of, no matter what. I am proud and grateful to the food service staff specifically, and to the custodial and security staff for their resolve in these efforts.”
The Food and Nutrition Services Department faced their fair share of obstacles making this millionth mark a grand feat. “The food services staff had no choice but to become creative and resourceful. We overcame whatever we had to, in order to get the kids fed.” stated Jayson Shaw, Director of Food Services.
For more information, please contact:
Newark Board of Education
Nancy Deering, Interim Executive Director