Local cafe offers free internet to online students

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FORTY FORT, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU-TV) — One local business in Luzerne County is giving back and helping students who are attending “online” classes this year.

“They don’t have internet, so how are they going to use it? Where were they going to find their internet? So, that’s when we stepped in,” Suraci’s Italian Cafe owner Daniel Matechak said.

With many students going virtual this school year, Matechak feels for the students who don’t have internet access in their homes. Just a few days ago, Matechak decided he would open up his business for anyone needing to connect to the WiFi,
Like his son, Daniel, who is working remotely this year. This gives others the opportunity to complete their assignments with a sense of ease.

“I hear the kids were getting Chromebooks and you know and we saw it and we were hearing these stories and we just felt like it was, not duty, but just wanted to do something positive,” Matechak said.

And Matechak says he is willing to go the extra mile to help those who need a little more support.

“If I have the space, any children or anyone that needs the internet or any service that we provide, whether it’d be lunch, you know what I mean? Because, I see a lot of kids, they are still not receiving lunches from schools and it’s upsetting,” Matechak said.

Matechak tells Eyewitness News that his one main concern is occupancy. One, since the restaurant is only able to operate indoors at 25 percent capacity and also, between the customers and children, if it gets a little bit loud, he says that could be distracting for them to listen.

However, he has a plan. They are welcome to come before and after peak lunch hours of 11 a.m. through 2 p.m. And additional outdoor seating would be provided to follow COVID-19 guidelines.

“They could even sit in their cars if they want. I mean, we’d figure out a way to do it, as long as we’re following the rules. Because like I said, that’s a major concern,” Matechak said.

Matechak mentions you don’t have to make a purchase to use the internet and just hopes to make a positive impact on the community.

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