Ozone Park school celebrates opening of new halal kitchen

Council Member Joann Ariola with students and teachers at P.S. 63 in Ozone Park
Photo courtesy of Ariola’s office

Council Member Joann Ariola joined students and staff to celebrate the official opening of a halal kitchen at P.S. 63 in Ozone Park school with a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Nov. 29.

The kitchen is opened inside P.S. 63, located on Sutter Avenue, and will provide religiously appropriate meals to Muslim students in the school. 

Ariola said that when she was campaigning in 2021, she made a promise to her constituents that all religions and religious preferences would be respected at schools in her district. 

“The opening of this kitchen here ensures that students of the Muslim faith do not need to compromise their beliefs in order to enjoy a meal in school alongside their friends,” Ariola said. “This is a promise made and a promise kept.”

Imran Uddin, president of the Parent Teacher Association at P.S. 63, welcomes this step forward and that the foods available will not just be for children of Muslim faith. 

“This isn’t just for the Muslim community,” Uddin said. “There’s also a large number of children and families that prefer halal for the health benefits, the hygiene behind it and the quality of the products that are used.”

Layan Mothena, a student at the school, said that the new halal kitchen makes the students feel as though the staff cares about their dietary practices and they are very grateful for that.