Essential staff help families
Posted on 04/28/2020
Thank you notes

While schools are closed, front line heroes are serving meals to almost 28,000 students daily.

Students receive one breakfast and one lunch for each day and on Friday receive meals for the weekend. All meals contain milk and fresh fruit or juice. An entrée at breakfast will include a muffin, banana bread or cereal bars and at lunch students are offered chicken nuggets and pizza to be reheated, or a cold turkey wrap or sandwich.

Through the coordination of the district’s Department of Safety and Emergency Management, Food and Nutrition Services, district police and school administration teams, close to 500 workers serve meals at 51 schools. Additional assistance from transportation and district police allow meals to be served in seven hotels serving an additional 350 students.

“I am incredibly proud of the dedicated staff who have worked tirelessly to help make the Grab-and-Go program successful. They understand the need to provide nutritious meals to our students who may not have them without this service,” Lora Gilbert, FNS senior director, said. “We hope these meals help ease parents and students’ worry during these difficult times.”

The food service program is funded by the USDA. The district applied for several waivers that allow students or their parents, guardians or siblings to collect Grab-and-Go meals and receive multiple meals at one time.

“Lives are being changed for good - in countless ways through this program. I am grateful for this opportunity and it warms my heart each and every minute that I am volunteering for this invaluable program,” Lori McCroan, Orange Technical College Westside Campus, said.

The number of meals provided to students during school closure has continued to increase by almost 400% in the last four weeks. Meal service started with serving approximately 18,000 students per day to now serving more than 27,500 students meals for two days on Mondays and Wednesdays and on Fridays six meals to include food for the weekend.

“Everyone needs to go through a food line to see the faces of the children and adults. I was behind a van with three little girls and after they got their meals, they were dividing them up right then and starting to eat,” Gilbert said.

If you have any questions regarding the Student Food Distribution Program, please contact the District Emergency Operations Center via e-mail at [email protected] or telephonically at 407-317-3200.