William Paterson University NJ gets student hunger grant

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WAYNE – Hundreds of low-income students at William Paterson University will receive meal allowances so they can eat for free on campus.

The program, which is expected to feed 300 full-time freshmen and transfer students in its first year, will be covered by a $ 1.5 million state grant this month.

The university is one of 35 higher education institutions in New Jersey to receive funding worth $ 28.5 million. The money came from the federal government to deal with the financial hardships of college students caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

William Paterson officials said the meal allowance program would expand into another initiative, called Pledge 4 Success, launched two years ago to help students pay their tuition fees.

“The piece that remains a challenge for our students is food insecurity,” said Richard Helldobler, president of the university.

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“This grant will allow us to help one of our most vulnerable populations and tackle one of the most pressing issues in terms of equity and affordability,” he added.

Students must be eligible for the Pledge 4 Success program and must not have a meal plan in place to receive annual meal allowances.

Eligible students will receive money for free meals on their ID cards, which can also be used as debit cards and swiped at any of William Paterson’s 12 restaurants.

The annual cost of a meal plan for college residents ranges from $ 2,170 to $ 2,770, or $ 95 to $ 950 for those heading to the Wayne campus.

This month’s state grants also included a separate package of $ 1 million to be shared between Montclair State University, Rutgers and nine other institutions to specifically deal with food insecurity issues.

Philip DeVenceentis is a local reporter for NorthJersey.com. For unlimited access to the most important news from your local community, please subscribe or activate your digital account today.

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