Schools Expand Meal Distribution to Students During Remote Learning

April 2, 2020 - 5:30pm

Programs to help feed children during remote learning are growing across Nebraska. Several districts reported expanding the number of meals they provide each week.


Latest news & resources: netNebraska.org/coronavirus

Lincoln Public Schools started providing meals to students the first week the district was closed due to COVID-19. That distribution was initially daily, and included meals for up to 300 students.

The program has since moved to weekly distribution on Mondays, which each student receiving five breakfasts and five lunches for the week. Last week 3,709 children received meals, and the district plans to increase that number to 4,500 for the April 6th meal distribution.

Edith Zumwalt is director of nutrition services for Lincoln Public Schools. She asks that parents picking up meals with their children remain in the car.

“If they are able to, from the inside of the car, open the trunk, we appreciate being able to put meals in the trunk instead of handing them to people,” Zumwalt said. “We appreciate the social distancing of 6 feet away. If they are walk-up parents, we appreciate that they wait behind the line and come up and get the meals after we back away so that we can keep the social distancing.”

Zumwalt added that the district is happy to distribute meals, but want food service workers to remain safe and healthy. Those workers are generally working two day per week to assemble and distribute meals. Workers are receiving their full pay and are on-call if more work is needed.

Omaha Public Schools is also distributing meals weekly, and anticipates that next week they will distribute meals to 3,000 students.

Grand Island Public Schools distributes meals Monday through Thursday, with double meals distributed on Thursdays to provide food for students on Fridays. The district estimates 3500 students per week receive meals, and that number could increase as parents lose work due to COVID-19. Children do not need to be enrolled in Grand Island Public Schools to receive meals.

Latest news & resources: netNebraska.org/coronavirus

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