Local school districts are finding ways to get meals to their students while district buildings are shut down.
This week, Mid-Prairie, Highland and Lone Tree school districts started lunch pickup programs for students.
Highland distributed nearly 200 meals on Monday.
District nurse Cindy Peiffer said the distribution “went very well.”
“We got down to the last two bags,” she said.
The lunch program is open to anyone under 18 years old. They do not have to be Highland students.
On Monday, children were provided with two breakfasts and two lunches. On Wednesday, they will receive three breakfasts and three lunches.
After the distribution Wednesday, the district will determine scheduling and menus based on the experience of the first two days, according to Rachel Cerny, the district food and nutrition director.
The meals are distributed from Highland Elementary School and the Ainsworth Ball Association concession stand.
Lone Tree started food distribution Monday.
The program is available from 4:30-6 p.m. on Monday and Thursday outside the library doors at the school.
Children receiving free meal kits need to with parents at the time of pickup “per state law,” according to a press release from the district.
Parents wanting to add their children’s names to the Lone Tree distribution list should contact the office from 9-11 a.m. at 319-629-4212.
Mid-Prairie Superintendent Mark Schneider worked with the district’s nutrition and transportation staff last week to put together a program, which he announced last week.
“The school district is moving ahead with plans to provide breakfast and lunch meals to district students whose families want them,” Schneider said in a message to parents last week. “We are planning on starting this service next Wednesday, March 25 and would do it two times a week, Monday and Wednesday.”
At Monday’s school board meeting, Schneider said he did not have exact numbers regarding how many students had been signed up for the program.
On Tuesday morning, Schneider said that the district will be serving about 300 students from 120 different families. There are about 600 families in the district.
Mid-Prairie will be distributing meals on Wednesday.
Wednesday’s meals include Wednesday lunch, Thursday breakfast and lunch, and Friday breakfast and lunch.
Monday’s meals include Monday lunch, Tuesday breakfast and lunch, and Wednesday breakfast.
All the meals will be prepared in school district kitchens.
Schneider said that the district is taking safety precautions while preparing meals.
“Employees are using social distancing and disinfectant,” he said. “No one can come to work who feels sick or has been exposed to anyone who may have COVID-19. We’ll take the most precautions that we can.”
The district will use six different locations for meal pick-up.
• Kalona Mennonite Church parking lot (902 Sixth St.) – Between 11:45 a.m.-12:15 p.m.
• Grass lot near downtown east of the Kalona Chamber of Commerce (514 B Ave.) – Between 11:45 a.m.-12:15 p.m.
• Wellman Mennonite Church parking lot (1215 Eighth Ave.) – Between 11:45 a.m.-12:15 p.m.
• Wellman First Baptist Church Parking Lot (600 Fourth St.) – Between 11:45 a.m.-12:15 p.m.
• West Chester Heritage Building (former West Chester School, 510 Main St.) – Between 11:45 a.m.-12:15 p.m.
• Home School Education Center Parking Lot (former Washington Township Elementary, 1592 Angle Road SW, Kalona) – Between 11:45 a.m.-12:15 p.m.
Delivery is being arranged for anyone living outside of the towns who does not have transportation to get to one of the pickup spots. Deliveries would be made between 11:45 a.m.-12:30 p.m.