Schools continue meal service

Kay Mathews hands off breakfast and lunch to a local student who came to the St. Maries School District's meal pickup point at Heyburn Elementary on March 23. School districts in the area have been continuing meal services despite closures due to COVID-19 concerns.

Area schools may be closed, but they won't let their students go hungry.

The St. Maries, Plummer-Worley and Kootenai school districts have provided meals for area children who are in need of breakfast and lunch.

The St. Maries school district started distributing meals Monday March 23.

St. Maries School District Food Service Director Cheri Chaffey said that so far the district has heard from at least 100 students who have notified the district that they will pick up grab-and-go meals.

She said that they are expecting more than that and have prepared over 600 meals. She said that the feedback from the community has been positive.

“People seem to be very grateful that we are doing something like this,” Ms. Chaffey said. “We have also extended the grab-and-go meals to any child under the age of 18. They don't even have to be a student in the district, they can even be home school students.”

“We don't want anyone to go hungry,” she added.

The meals will be available through March 27, but the grab and go service will not be available during the districts normal scheduled spring break from March 30 to April 3.

The Kootenai School District will also adopt a similar meal distribution plan to the St. Maries School District by allowing all children under 18 get free breakfast and lunch March 23 through the 27.

“We will deliver and allow pick-up of meals from kids aged one to 18 even if they aren't in the Kootenai School District,” Kootenai superintendent Dennis Kachelmier said.

Kootenai will not provide the service during their normal scheduled spring break which will also be from March 30 to April 3.

Mr. Kachelmier said that the district will deliver two meals a day on its regular bus routes.

Plummer-Worley school district also announced locations and times for the distribution of food to enrolled students on days that school was scheduled. The grab and go service will only be available on March 23, 24 and 25.

According to state guidelines, the students who plan to get meals from any of the district's grab and go meal sites must personally pick up the meal. Drop and go student meals will be available once per day, and will include lunch and breakfast for the following morning.

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