When Gov. Laura Kelly announced March 17 that K-12 school buildings in Kansas would be closed for the rest of the 2019-20 school year due to the fast-spreading coronavirus (COVID-19), school districts started adopting continued learning plans that will be used to teach students for the remainder of the school year.
Food service was another challenge that districts would have to tackle.
During this time of off-site instruction, Louisburg USD 416 decided to continue to supply meals to any child, ages 1 to 18, every weekday, beginning Tuesday, March 24. Each child is provided with a grab-and-go sack lunch which includes breakfast for the following day.
The sack lunches are picked up on the west side of Broadmoor Elementary. Children need to be physically present in order for the district to provide a sack lunch. People were encouraged to stay in their cars and loop around the school to the west side where staff would be waiting outside to provide the lunches.
After the first week in operation, Louisburg Superintendent Brian Biermann said he is pleased with the response to the meal program.
“The meal program is going great, especially for the first week,” Biermann said. “On Friday, we served close to 450 meals. The grab-and-go lunch includes lunch for the day and breakfast for the following morning. It also includes two milks and a juice.”
Biermann said the school food service staff is prepared to serve as many lunches as are needed each weekday.
“I am proud of the work our food service staff and Karen Miller, Food Service Director, have done to keep our students fed and healthy,” Biermann said.
Other local school districts also have implemented lunch programs.
OSAWATOMIE USD 367
Osawatomie USD 367 kicked off its food plan Monday, March 23. Free meals will be offered to all children ages 1 to 18, and they do not have to be USD 367 students, according to a release posted on the school district’s Facebook page.
The meals can be picked up at the Osawatomie High School main entrance and Osawatomie Middle School cafeteria entrance between 11 a.m. and 12:30 p.m., according to the release.
The district is encouraging all children to utilize the program because the meals are free, and every meal served helps the district pay its food service employees, according to the release.
Osawatomie USD 367 also is implementing optional delivery of food service meals to daycares within the district, students and families who are under quarantine orders, and students who live in the country and serviced by a USD 367 country bus route or a preschool county bus route.
For families who live in the country and requested delivery when their student’s teacher contacted them, a USD 367 staff member will be calling to finalize delivery plans, according to a district release.
Those who live in the country and have not been contacted by a classroom teacher are encouraged to call the district office at (913) 755-4172.
Delivery service to country routes was expected to begin Monday, March 30. Deliveries to daycares and quarantined families will begin as soon as the district is contacted.
Families who live within the city limits of Osawatomie are asked to use the walk-up or drive-up options at OHS and OMS.
PAOLA USD 368
Starting Monday, March 30, the USD 368 food service department will provide free breakfast and lunch for all students ages 1-18 to be picked up at the Paola High School faculty parking lot (south lot) between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.
Once the program is in place, there may be the opportunity to pick up multiple days at once, but to start, meals will be available on a daily basis.
Each day the student will receive lunch and breakfast for the following day.
Due to USDA guidelines, the students must be present when picking up the meals.
Paola Superintendent Matt Meek told school board members, during a video conference meeting March 26, that the district is not allowed to do home meal deliveries because its percentage of students qualifying for free and reduced lunches is not high enough.
Questions regarding food pick-up can be directed to email@example.com.