School district provides meals during school closure

While students stay home for the next four weeks, the Shenandoah Community School district has set up a free food service program to provide food to kids in need.

Last week Gov. Kim Reynolds recommended all Iowa schools close for four weeks to limit the spread of COVID-19.

School employees helping with the food service program will distribute food between 11 a.m. and 12:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, beginning Monday, March 23, for children ages 1 to 18.

Food Service Director Kristin Edwards said staff will hand out food in Shenandoah and Farragut at in-town bus stops in half-hour increments.

From 11 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at Logan School, the former Sack N Save parking lot and Priest Park,

from 11:30 a.m. to noon at Nicholson Park, Gottsch Park and Iowa Western Community College parking lot

and from noon to 12:30 p.m. at Valley View Apartments and Mayridge Drive. Staff will be at the Farragut School from 11 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

Edwards said meals will be pre-packaged and children will receive lunch for the day and breakfast for the next morning.

“The lunches will consist of a balanced lunch and a balanced breakfast for the next day,” said Edwards. “So, it will consist of two milks; there will be a grain in there, a meat and meat alternative, fruits, vegetables and juice.”

Transportation Director, John Weinrich has been in communication with families who live on country routes and staff will deliver meals to those kids in need at their home.

Edwards said this program works similar to the summer food service program in which the state reimburses the district. She said the requirement for the kids to stay on-site and eat had been waived, so they can pick up the food and go. In addition to this safety measure, employees will be wearing gloves and will have hand sanitizer and wipes to use when needed.

“We have asked the students and parents to grab and go,” said Edwards. “Not that we don’t want to visit with them as they do get excited about seeing the staff, but it is very important not to congregate at the site.”

Edwards said the district is hoping they can provide this service until school can resume.

“It will just be day-to-day,” said Edwards. “As of right now, we are planning until school resumes. For us, it is starting the summer food program service early.”

Edwards said no sign up is required, but if parents have questions or want to be added to the country route, call between the hours of 7 a.m. and 3 p.m., Monday through Friday at 246-3773 or the administration office at 246-1581.

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