William Paterson University’s Café con Leche
Francisco Diaz, of William Paterson University describes the group, Café con Leche and the term Latinx. Tuesday, April 13, 2021
Kevin R. Wexler, NorthJersey.com
WAYNE — Hundreds of low-income students at William Paterson University will receive meal allowances so that they can eat on campus at no cost.
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 grant awarded by the state this month.
The university is among 35 institutions of higher education in New Jersey to benefit from a funding package worth $28.5 million. The money came from the federal government to address financial hardships of college students caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
William Paterson officials said the meal allowance program will expand on another initiative, called Pledge 4 Success, launched two years ago to assist students with tuition payments.
“The piece that still remains a challenge for our students is food insecurity,” said Richard Helldobler, the university’s president.
“This grant funding will allow us to help one of our most vulnerable populations and to 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.
Qualifying students will get money for free meals on their ID cards, which can also be used like debit cards and swiped at any of the 12 dining locations at William Paterson.
The yearly cost for a meal plan for university residents ranges from $2,170 to $2,770, or from $95 to $950 for those who commute to the Wayne campus.
This month’s grant awards from the state also included a separate bundle of $1 million to be shared among Montclair State University, Rutgers and nine other institutions to specifically handle issues of food insecurity.
Philip DeVencentis 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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