Camden City School District in New Jersey wanted to continue to feed the community despite schools being closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Workers found a way to provide 25 thousand free meals a week to students and their families.
The silence that fills the usually buzzing cafeteria at Woodrow Wilson High School in Camden, New Jersey can feel deafening. That is until Arlethia Brown walks into the room.
"We have down days as everybody does, what job isn't stressful, right? She walks through the door, she has a smile, loud voice, always hi, how you doing? She's always bubbly, she cheers us up as soon as she walks through the door," said Shantae Wise, a chef with Camden City School District.
She is part of a 50-person team preparing 25,000 meals a week for students and their families in Camden.
She says when the pandemic started and schools closed, a lot of the kids they serve would not have access to healthy meals.
The school district has 16 different meal pickup sites around Camden to make the food accessible to every neighborhood. If for some reason someone can't pick it up, then Brown will hand-deliver.
New Jersey school district gives out thousands of free meals