New York rally seeks schools Lunch facilities for all children | Greenwatch Dhaka | The leading online daily of Bangladesh

New York rally seeks schools Lunch facilities for all children


New York – Political, civic, and religious leaders from across the spectrum united in a groundbreaking effort to secure school lunches that meet the religious requirements of the diverse population in New York City’s public schools.
September 6th, 2016 at 12 noon at the steps of Manhatten’s City Hall will host a dynamic gathering of top leaders to push proposed Senate bill S1032 to ensure the availability of Halal and Kosher lunches for every school that hosts twenty-five percent or more students from a faith community that has dietary restrictions.Senator Tony Avella (D-QUEENS) is credited with pioneering this effort. He shares, “The population of residents in cities like New York City who practice a religious faith with specific dietary restrictions is rising….Offering students these types of food options during lunch not only accommodates their dietary restriction but also enhances students’ awareness and respect for diversity in cultures, religions, and ethnicities.”
Another active contributor is Assemblyman William Colton (Brooklyn), “as a former teacher, I understand the importance of ensuring the proper and healthy nourishment of children to educational progress. I have cosponsored two legislative bills (A8474, Ortiz & A 4328 Sepulveda) to provide for such needs.”
Hailing these efforts as basic to American democracy, Assemblymember Jaime R. Williams (District 59 Brooklyn) states, “To be without such food due to governmental agencies not considering important religious ideals is contrary to all our great beliefs of our City, State and Nation. Diversity of our religions has always been a cornerstone of our democratic system and that is why I support and urge others to support the mandate that no child should leave a lunchroom or classroom hungry.”
Awareness for this pressing need was galvanized by Mazeda Uddin, Muslim woman activist and humanitarian, founder of the S.A.F.E.S.T. advocacy organization and leader in meeting the needs of immigrant populations from all over the world.
Mazeda Uddin reflects, “Often these children go to bed hungry because they did not eat a good diet during the day.
The parents of many of these children are on minimum wage trying to make ends meet and struggling to give their children a proper diet on a daily basis.”
This proposed bill is hailed as a testimony to the tolerance and diversity of New York City; at the forefront of world leadership in finance and culture, now the city is trailblaizing efforts at true coexistance.
State Senator Jose Peralta (D-Queens) remarked, “I want to thank the South Asian Fund for Education, Scholarship and Training in its efforts to bring Halal and Kosher menus school cafeterias.”
Adding his support, State Senator Jesse Hamilton said, “Our public schools must be sensitive to the needs of every student, so providing kosher and halal meal options to students is imperative. I urge the Department of Education to act promptly to ensure that no student goes hungry.” because of their religious background.”
This bill not only benefits religious minorities, but New York City as well; “New York City is the most culturally diverse city in the world,” said State Senator Leroy Comrie. “For years, I have stood with advocates like those at the
South Asian Fund for Education, Scholarship, and Training in demanding that our schools provide access to healthy food options that respect the religious traditions of devout Muslim and Jewish students. No child should be forced to go hungry because the school system cannot respect their dietary and religious concerns.”
Senator Roxanne J. Persaud notes the urgency of the proposed bills: “I stand in support that Halal and Kosher food options are available for our children. Missing meals should not be the only alternative – it impairs a child’s development and the ability to excel in the classroom.”
David Weprin stands strongly by these proposed bills: “As the Assembly member who represents one of the most diverse districts in the city, I am glad to support any initiative the brings kosher and halal food options to our New York City public schools.”
“Our schools must provide students with a greater selection of lunch options,” adds NYC Council Education Committee Chairperson Daniel Dromm (D-Jackson Heights, Elmhurst). “Too many New York families struggle with food insecurity on a daily basis. I will continue to work with the Mayor and Chancellor to address this serious matter.”
And for more voices in support of the proposed bill: “By implementing a food program inclusive of Jewish and Muslim communities, parents could better confide in the school system knowing their children are going through their day to day schedules well nourished and equipped to learn,” said Assemblywoman Nily Rozic (D,WF-Fresh Meadows).
“New York City schools are diverse—and lunch menus should reflect students’ different dietary needs and requirements,” said Council Member Rory Lancman.
Dr. Ivan Khan, CEO of Khan’s Tutorial, adds: “We strongly support the inclusion of both halal food and kosher food in NYC public schools. It is long overdue that city and school officials are able to serve the Muslim and Jewish communities that our amazing city has to offer.”
And to really get to the heart of the matter, Donald Nesbit, Executive Vice President of Local AFSCME, and Founder, Bronx Educators United for Justice said, “…it is time to go beyond the gesture of tolerance and move toward full cultural competence, through the acceptance of different dietary needs and requirements. As an ESL teacher, I have seen students refuse to eat until they get home or smuggle in food from home. Not being properly nourished impacts student attention, comfort, mood and engagement. NYCDOE schools should offer choices in keeping with Kosher and Halal requirements. It would go a long way to show these students they are respected and accepted, not just tolerated.” Be with us on September 6 2016, 12:00 noon, New York City Hall 260 E Broadway (at Murray St), Manhatten for the press conference and to be part of this exciting opportunity to advance the cause of tolerance and diversity in our great city and nation.


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