School districts 91 and 209 are making sure children get fed during the coronavirus-related school closing.
At Garfield Elementary School on March 16, Principal Mary Stauder handed out lunches to families who stopped by for food. She said the school had given out 32 lunches so far. Each bagged meal consisted of a cheese sandwich, potato salad, a fruit cup, grape tomatoes and milk.
Stauder said lunch was ordered for every child in the district, but she had no idea what to expect in terms of people stopping by for food.
“I was kind of nervous that with the weather, maybe we wouldn’t get too many people,” said Stauder, but she was happy with the number and the response. “People are very appreciative,” she said.
Stauder said that the food service company dropped the meals off in the morning. They were refrigerated, then brought back out to distribute to students and families who stopped by.
Garfield School, 543 Hannah Ave., is the pick-up lunch location for students on the north side of town. On the south side, students can stop by the Forest Park Middle School’s gymnasium vestibule on the Ferdinand Avenue side of the building. Both schools are serving lunch between 11 a.m. and 12 p.m. during the week of March 16 through March 20.
According to a memo from Supt. Lou Cavallo on March 16, “the following week is spring break and no lunch will be provided that week. However, the following Monday, March 30, grab and go lunches will be provided. If the closure is extended, it is our intent to continue to provide lunches. If that happens, you will receive a communication.”
District 209 is another source of meals for kids, including both breakfast and lunch, in their free grab and go program. According to a memo from D209, “families can pick up meals for school age children age 18 and under at the nearest PTHS D209 school.”
Breakfast is available the week of March 16 from 9 to 10 a.m. and lunch from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Meals are distributed at the north entrance at Proviso Math and Science Academy (PMSA), the tower entrance at Proviso East, and the visitor entrance at Proviso West.
On Monday, PMSA’s bagged lunch included a ham and cheese sandwich, a container of apple juice, a bag of carrots, three mandarin oranges and a carton of milk.