Over the last eight weeks, Areté has re-established online programming, enrolling 300 students at the Lab School in a variety of weekly learning activities. We have also provided resources for direct services to Lab School families to acquire groceries, hotspots, and other critical services and supplies. Working with the Lab School staff, we keep track daily of students in terms of COVID-19 sickness (self and household members), hunger, and family member loss.
We have also seen a desperate need emerge: hunger.
Areté has responded by starting a Family Help Hotline and Grocery Delivery initiatives for the families we serve in Mott Haven.
We are working every day to garner foundation, private donor, and government funding to expand these efforts. Recently the Tracy Family Foundation funded our volunteer grocery delivery team by awarding Areté $7,500 to purchase groceries for our families recently losing a loved one to COVID and/or suffering from acute food shortages. Private donors have also been filling in the financial gaps needed to continue the initiative beyond the first delivery to 20 families.
Areté and Lab School staff have been volunteering every Saturday afternoon to meet at Fine Fare, load our cars with boxes of groceries, and then deliver directly to the apartment buildings of our families most in need.
Please consider sharing news our hunger relief efforts with friends, families, and foundation who would be interested in supporting our students and families during this critical time.
We have traditionally served the Mott Haven neighborhood of the South Bronx, home to the poorest congressional district in the nation. We partner with the Laboratory School of Finance and Technology to serve 700 students and their families; those services have been dramatically curtailed due to COVID-19, due to a suspension of all on-site youth and family programming. By virtue of zip code, our Mott Haven families will be hit harder by COVID-19 than most due to decades of historical and structural inequities that erect barriers to accessing healthcare, employment, and educational opportunities. The Bronx has the highest number of COVID-19 fatalities as a share of its population of any borough.
You can learn more about our COVID-19 responses to support students and families in Mott Haven by watching a video about our recent efforts in March and April.