School districts continue to provide meals during school closures
Administrators and staff in the USD 234 and USD 235 school districts are doing what they can to make sure students are fed during the COVID-19 crisis.
USD 234 staff is asking families to register for pick up of meals, which will be distributed Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday next week. Each child will receive two meals on Monday, and a total of eight meals each on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Families can register using the Google Form: USD 234 COVID-19 Food Service. The form can be found at www.usd234.org, or by calling the board office at (620) 223-0800. Families must register for each day they want the district to provide meals, according to district information.
Questions that will be asked on the registration are:
• Will you be picking up meals?
• Where will you be picking up meals?
• How many children aged 1-18 will you be picking up meals for?
• Adult contact name?
• Adult contact phone number?
According to USD 234 Food Service Director Robin Button, the district is currently serving about 800 children each day, which amounts to about 8,000 meals served.
“We have had some days where we have served higher,” USD 234 Business Manager Gina Shelton said.
For the week of April 13, USD 234 buses will stop at each in-town location for 10 minutes and then move to the next location. Buses on Routes D and E will distribute meals at each stop and keep moving. Children will receive the same amount of meals for the week as in past plans, but will pick them up over the course of three days.
Meal drop-off includes breakfast and lunch. The child must be present to receive meals. Children with dietary restrictions are asked to notify the bus attendant. Children and families are asked to maintain social distancing recommendations of six feet between individuals, whether picking up meals by drive-through at Fort Scott High School or Eugene Ware, or picking up meals on one of the bus routes, according to district information.
Shelton said USD 234 “appreciates the hard work of our food service department and those helping distribute to make sure kids are able to have a healthy meal during this time when our school buildings are closed. It has been a team effort all around to continue serving our community in this way. One of our kitchen managers said to me ‘We like to serve and feed kids’ and they are certainly doing a great job doing that.”
The Kansas State Department of Education’s mission for the summer food program, which is what USD 234’s program runs under, sates that “Just as learning does not end when school lets out, neither does the need for good nutrition. The Summer Food Service Program provides free, nutritious meals and snacks to help children in low-income areas get the nutrition they need to learn, play and grow throughout the summer months when they are out of school.”
Shelton said district staff “have modified plans as we have needed to make the system flow better.
“The parents registering has helped our staff immensely in being able to plan to be sure that we have enough to serve kids in need,” she said. “Next week’s distribution will remain the same as far as number of days, sites of delivery, and times. We continue to encourage everyone using the program to practice good social distancing recommendations in place by our health department.”
The meal distribution program for USD 235 in Uniontown provides meals for multiple days on Tuesdays and Thursdays. The program is also available to youth 1-18 years of age, and there is no eligibility or paperwork required. Children must be visible when picking up meals at pick-up points or when meals are delivered. Deliveries are made to rural addresses within USD 235’s boundaries between 11:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. Pickup points are open from 11 to 11:20 a.m. The pickup points are West Bourbon Elementary School, the Marmaton Community Church in Redfield, the city park in Mapleton and in front of the Bronson Meat Locker in Bronson.