BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB)–Over five thousand meals were handed out to families of Buffalo Public School students on Tuesday, helping fight food insecurity one plate at at time.

“We like giving back, we love helping our community, and that’s exactly why we are here,” said Jennifer Jackson, Cafeteria Manager at BPS School 74 Hamlin Park. “I just really appreciate our program the board of education for doing stuff like this for our neighborhoods, it’s really important.”

From fresh produce, to meats, to milk, the school district gave away seven days worth of meals to each of the student’s family who stopped by on Tuesday morning.

“Look at me, I know how to shop.” said Deaja Seay, a new Hamlin Park student who is going into fifth grade. She stopped by her new school to pick up free goods with her family. “I am very thankful for it because it is very expensive when you have to pay for it, so we’re thankful that it’s free.”

The schools received the food as part of the Child Nutrition Program from state and federal funding. The schools are trying to helping ease the family’s’ grocery bills, especially during back to school season.

“Inflation has skyrocketed and so everyone has felt the pain of that.” said Bridget Obrien-Wood, Food Service Director for Buffalo Public Schools, “Two weeks of grocery bills could really add up, so this is really helping out families to be able to come out and get really healthy food, dairy products, local meats and we’re hoping they really take advantage of it.”

With the first day of school approaching within two weeks, Patrick Cook, Principal of Hamlin Park School is excited to have his students back in the classroom and to continue to support them to success.

“Coming off the pandemic, coming off of the recent tragedy in Buffalo, we really want to make sure they are provided with the best education,” said Cook, “We’re just so excited to have our kids back. I really want this to be our regular school year but where everybody comes together.”

Eleven schools throughout Buffalo are holding food distribution sites, and to find out which schools are holding one, head to their website here. The next food distribution they will be having will be at the same schools, Tuesday August 30th, 9am-11am.