Local Organizations Persevere Through Pandemic

Spencer Wolff, News Page Editor

Coronavirus, officially known as COVID-19, has disrupted the world in ways it has never been disrupted before. Schools have closed, sports leagues have paused, and, most significantly, the closures of businesses and the decline of demand has put many
business owners and workers in a dire financial situation.

In Larchmont-Mamaroneck, the schools have been closed for three months, which has forced students across the six schools
to power up their computers and other devices and join online classes. While online classes are simple to provide, there are many other services that the school district must maintain for students and parents who rely on them. These programs include meals, therapies, and language studies. For some students, the services that the district provides improve their wellbeing as many parents need to keep working to provide for their families.

The Mamaroneck Union Free School District has risen to the challenge posed by the coronavirus. About the district’s response, Debbie Manetta, the district’s Director of Public Information, says, “Across the system during these past couple months of challenging times filled with uncertainties, our teachers, faculty, and administrators have dedicated themselves to ensuring the well-being of their students and engaging students in continued learning. At all levels — elementary, middle school, and high school — teachers have maintained the daily balance of juggling their own families with remote learning instruction and communication with students; they have used a range of technologies to provide both synchronous and asynchronous lessons.” The district is making sure that there are no holes in education and that the students are still connected and taught by their teachers.

Manetta also addressed the ways that the district is helping families struggling during this time. “The district has continued to provide meals for students in need (breakfasts and lunches) at multiple area locations and provided childcare for first responders and medical professionals. Our social workers, as well as our Student Support Services staff, have made themselves readily available to families and served as valuable resources in helping families navigate distance learning.” She also said that “health and safety, of students and staff, as always, remains the District’s top priority.” Students and families rely on the programs that the district offers them on a daily basis, and during the pandemic, the administration has made it a goal to continue to offer these beneficial services.

The school district is not the only organization helping families of our community in need. The Larchmont-Mamaroneck Hunger Task Force has been serving record amounts of food. According to the Larchmont Loop, on April 21, the Hunger Task Force packed food for 600 families, 67% higher than what they normally serve to the residents of the two towns. Additionally, the Community Resource Center has set up an Emergency Assistance Fund to help those that are most vulnerable during the pandemic, medically and financially.

The outbreak of COVID-19 in the United States has changed all of our lives, but different organizations around the community are helping us through it. While demand for their services has most certainly increased, MUFSD, the Hunger Task Force, and the
Community Resource Center’s actions in response to this crisis have reinforced the most important lesson that people can take from this pandemic: we are not alone and we will get through this together.