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During this extraordinary time when New York City’s educators are working closely with students and families from the confines of their homes, we will be publishing a series of posts describing their experiences in their own words. We are now #DOEconnected!

Follow our hashtag, #DOEconnected, join the conversation, and connect online with your neighbors across the City. Share stories of how you, your child, a teacher, or a school community member has become your hero. Remember, not all heroes wear capes.

Sophia, School Food Worker at I.S. 143 in Washington Heights

“My daily routine has changed. I’m not serving hot foods anymore. Before, it was nice to see familiar faces. They all knew me by name. [The personal connection]—this is what I’m missing most.”

“My name is Sophia, I’m a school lunch helper. I’m working for the school I.S. 143 in Washington Heights, Manhattan.”

Sophia has been serving the public long before the City had called on essential workers to persist on the front lines of facing the pandemic. “I’ve been working for DOE for four years. In this school, it’s been three and a half years.”

She lives across the Hudson River—overcoming yet another hurdle commuting into the City every day. The commute has never been easy, but “it’s dramatically changed right now.” The invisible risk of the virus is insurmountable. Nonetheless, it is dedicated workers like Sophia that defend our City from being completely disconnected—by showing up and doing their jobs.

“I’m proud to play my part in helping City residents live through these difficult times. I’m putting my best effort to help everybody.”

Sophia is emblematic of how NYC Department of Education staff members are adapting to these unprecedented times on behalf of our students and families. We thank all DOE staff members for helping all of us stay #DOEconnected.

Did you know that free meals are available for ALL New Yorkers, every Monday through Friday?

Any New Yorker who wants one can get three free meals a day at more than 400 Meal Hubs across the City. Meals Hubs will operate for children and families from 7:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., and for adults from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

To find a Meal Hub near you, check out our Free Meal Locator.

School food staff members standing alongside a school nurse

We thank all of the DOE’s frontline employees for everything they do on behalf of our students and their families.

Official blog for the NYC Department of Education, home of a million students across 1,800+ schools

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