April 22, 2020

Grateful for “Innovative Partnership” That Helps Feed School Children

To the Editor:

We in the Princeton community are blessed with many wonderful, caring organizations. Thank you for highlighting one example — the innovative partnership among the Princeton Public Schools, Send Hunger Packing Princeton (SHUPPrinceton), and other allies who are working together to try to ensure that none of our school children go hungry.

Academic research provides compelling evidence of the damage hunger causes by making it much more difficult for students to concentrate and learn. In normal times, a key mission for our public schools is to provide free or reduced-price meals to the 14 percent of our student body who faces food insecurity. SHUPPrinceton has played a critical role by supplementing the district’s efforts, providing many of these students with free meals over the weekends, when schools are not in session.

With the onset of the current pandemic, our community faces even greater challenges. This partnership has quickly scaled its response, distributing weekday and weekend breakfast and lunches to over 500 students who are now learning from home, by using district buses, bus drivers, and transportation aides. SHUPPrinceton has greatly expanded its efforts — with the support of the community, it is now including dinners for these students and their caregivers as part of this distribution.

Thank you to all the heroes involved in keeping our children fed and focused on learning during this unprecedented crisis. Your example provides inspiration for all of us.

Gregory Stankiewicz
Jefferson Road