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County school districts providing kids meals during COVID-19 shutdown
Customized by district, no child need go hungry
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Great Bend USD 428 students have been accessing school meals during the COVID-19 shutdown for nearly two weeks now. Earlier this week, Ellinwood, Hoisington and Central Plains Schools, who were on Spring break last week, began providing breakfast and lunch this week, and will continue through the remainder of the school year. The meals are free to all children ages 1-18. (Requirements that the child must be present at pick-up to obtain the meal are likely to change in light of information released Thursday, March 26, by the USDA concerning relaxation of some rules of the USDA child nutrition programs in recognition that the current outbreak has rendered some of the rules impractical.  More information about these changes will be reported as soon as they are available.)

In Ellinwood USD 355, meals can be picked up from 11:30 a.m. to 12:15 p.m., Monday through Friday. Pickup points are at the two public school buildings. At Ellinwood Grade School, address, pick up at the circle drive on the East side between Beverly Drive and E. Sixth Street, and at Ellinwood Middle and High School, pick up curbside at the commons area entry door on the East side of the building on N. Schiller Ave. A month-long lunch menu can be found online at the district website.

Hoisington USD 431 website includes COVID-19 updates with information about accessing Grab ‘n Go meals. According to Sandi Becker, Powerschool Administrator, meals trend more towards a cold lunch and a cold breakfast option. Currently, the district is asking families to fill out a meal order form posted on the website for meals to be provided now through May 15, 2020. The number of family members ages 1-18 to receive a meal, contact information, and the number of paid adults interested in breakfast and lunch are requested. Adults will be able to purchase meals at $2.60 for breakfast and $4.00 for lunch. 

Pick up in Hoisington is twice a week from 11 a.m to 1 p.m. On Monday, families will receive two breakfasts and three lunches. On Wednesday, they will receive three breakfasts and two lunches. Menus are posted on the district website. 

Starting Monday, March 30, the district will be delivering meals to rural students and to day care providers on the same schedule. Meals will be delivered by bus drivers following the normal rural route, as well as some classified staff members.

USD 112 meal pickup sites

Claflin: Pick up at CPHS

Bushton: Pick up at Former Bushton School Building Parking Lot

Holyrood: Pick up at CPES

Wilson: Pick up at Wilson Schools

Lorraine: Pick up at Bus Pick up Location

Odin: Pick up at Odin Store

Dorrance: Pick up at Bus Stop

Geneseo: Pick up at Post Office

Beaver: Pick up at Elevator

Similarly, Central Plains USD 112 began providing meals on Tuesday, March 24.  Superintendent Greg Clark told the Tribune Thursday morning that the district is serving up 500 meals a day to 250 students. 

"Our cooks are doing an amazing job, and its been a total success so far," he said.  At the district's recent virtual Board of Education meeting, Clark encouraged all families in the district to sign up for the meals regardless of financial need, stating that with all else going on at this time, meal preparation could be one less thing to worry about.  

"I appreciate our board approving this," he said.  Families can contact the district office by phone, 785-252-3695, to sign up, with all kids ages 1-18 eligible to receive meals for free. Meals are being delivered between 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. at sites in each of the communities the district serves (see box). Rural students and daycare centers will receive home delivery as needed.

Meals will include lunch and the next day’s breakfast.