Lawrence schools adjust days, offerings of free meal service for children

photo by: Contributed photo

Volunteers on Tuesday, March, 17, 2020 at Schwegler Elementary School, 2201 Ousdahl Rd., stand ready to provide free lunch to students in need as schools are closed to help stop the spread of COVID-19.

The Lawrence school district will be making changes to its meal program for children beginning Monday, in an effort to reduce risks to staff, volunteers and families.

The district, which had been providing free grab-and-go breakfast and lunch on weekdays, will now offer meals only on Mondays and Thursdays. However, the number of take-home meals each child can receive has increased to two packaged breakfast meals and two sack lunches. Hot meals will be provided in addition, the district said in a post on its social media channels Friday.

Also beginning Monday, home delivery will no longer be offered “due to the difficulties in controlling all points of exposure for health, safety, and proper sanitation,” the district said.

Distribution times and locations will remain the same: from 10:30 a.m. until 1 p.m., while supplies last, at Hillcrest Elementary, 1045 Hilltop Drive; Kennedy Elementary School, 1605 Davis Road; Schwegler Elementary, 2201 Ousdahl Road; Billy Mills Middle School, 2734 Louisiana St.; and Liberty Memorial Central Middle School, 1400 Massachusetts St.

Meals are available for children under 18 years old, with no signup or paperwork, although children must be present. The program is currently scheduled to run until May 20. Kansas school buildings have been closed for the rest of the spring semester as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Lawrence schools are expected to resume lessons remotely next week.

“Child nutrition is a priority for the Lawrence Public Schools, as is evidenced by staff and volunteers serving children an average of 1,000 meals daily since the program began March 17,” the district said.

The school district has about 4,000 students who qualify for free or reduced-price lunch from schools, the Journal-World previously reported.

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