Local schools plan to continue feeding kids

(KALB) - Here's how local school boards are responding to the nutritional needs of kids in the area while classes are on hold due to the coronavirus.

USDA / MGN

News Channel 5 will continue to update this list as new information becomes available.

RAPIDES PARISH SCHOOL BOARD:

Superintendent Jeff Powell: "As we continue to respond to our Governor's proclamations, declarations, and recommendations, we are trying to balance the needs of our students while also respecting the health concerns of our employees and community. Tuesday, March 24, 2020 we will feed from all 27 school sites that have been open for the last 6 days. In response to the 'stay home' order impacting many of our employees, beginning Wednesday, March 25, 2020 we will transition to 7 feeding sites across the parish."

Monday-Friday from 9:00-11:00 AM

Bolton High School
Buckeye High School
Glenmora High School
Nachman Elementary School
Peabody Magnet High School
Pineville Elementary School
Tioga High School

Food will no longer be delivered to homes.

More from Jeff Powell: "Please keep in mind that our employees and volunteers will be wearing personal protective equipment and may alter the process for picking up meals in order to maintain social distancing. We will continue to serve meals for children 18 or younger from any of the identified locations. While other districts are having to discontinue their feeding programs due to the lack of protective equipment or adequate staff, we understand that we are serving over 5,000 meals a day and want to continue to meet the needs of our community. We are #bettertogether."

GRANT PARISH SCHOOL BOARD:

Starting March 17, meals for any child under 18 can be picked up at all schools from 9:30-11:00 regardless of which Grant Parish School you attend. If you choose to pick up from CES, GJH, or GHS, meals can be picked up in the bus rider line. If you choose to pick up from SGE, PES, GTWN, VES, or MHS, meals will be served from the bus. You will need to call Grant High School Cafeteria at 318-899-5690 or Colfax Elementary at 318-627-5351.

Please make sure you call one of the locations before 2:00 March 16 to request the number of meals needed and specify the location of pick up. Dates of service will be from March 17-19, March 24-26, and March 30-April 2.

AVOYELLES PARISH SCHOOL BOARD:

"A conference call was held last night (March 22) with representatives from the Governor's Office, the Louisiana Department of Education and state superintendents. All facets of the school food service program were discussed. The issue is not whether feeding students is important. We all agree that it is. At the same time, staff and employee safety must also be considered.

In one week alone, through the efforts of our dedicated employees and volunteers, we have fed more students than we do in the entire summer. While this program is important, we must consider the safety and well- being of our employees. Not only is there a shortage of adequate protective gear such as gloves, face masks and thermometers, but we have no idea who may or may not have been exposed to the COVID-19 at this time.

Accordingly, given the shortage of these supplies and to protect both our employees and those who are consuming the provided meals, our school system is suspending these services until further notice.

The state did inform us that they are working with the National Guard and other entities to possibly have their own feeding program up and running by next week."

VERNON PARISH SCHOOL BOARD:

Lunch will be served for 3-18-year-olds on Monday, March 23. Lunches will be of the grab-and-go style. Lunches can be picked up at schools from 11 am - 12:30 pm daily. Students must be present to receive their lunches. Parents/guardians must be with the elementary students to receive lunches. This food service program will be offered daily Monday-Thursday.

Lunches can be picked up at the following sites:
Leesville High School: LHS and LJHS students
Vernon Middle School: ELE, WLE and VMS students
Parkway Elementary: NPE, Parkway students
Rosepine High School: RES, RHS students
Anacoco High School: AES, AHS students
Pickering High School: PES, PHS students
Evans High School: Evans students
Hicks High School: Hicks students
Hornbeck High School: Hicks students
Pitkin High School: Pitkin students
Simpson High School: Simpson students

BEAUREGARD PARISH SCHOOL BOARD:

In the wake of school closures across the state, the Beauregard Parish School Board administration announced that it will support online educational resources to encourage learning at home and will implement meal services for students 18 years of age and under, according to Superintendent Timothy Cooley.

“Our school system is, first and foremost, focused on the needs of our students,” he said.

“After their health and safety, the two most critical needs from a school system’s perspective are helping ensure students are fed and that they continue in their learning.” Governor John Bel Edwards announced on March 13 that schools across the state will be closed March 16 – April 10, 2020, in response to COVID-19. This move is part of several measures to implement social distancing throughout the state to slow the spread of the virus.

Administrators at the school board immediately began plans to continue educational opportunities for all students and to create a plan to feed students on weekdays during this time of mandatory school closures.

Teachers across the parish will be using their Faculty Directory pages through the school websites, as well as Google Classroom, to work with students remotely to continue their education.

Teachers will be suggesting learning opportunities on their Faculty Directory page through school websites and through Google Classroom. The BPSB website also has free resources listed by grade and subject areas. Parents can click on the “star” button of the BPSB homepage entitled “Learning Opportunities Available Now” to access that information.

“We encourage parents to set a regular learning time while students are at home and to access these resources to help keep students focused on grade-level appropriate resources and tasks,” said Cooley.

The School Food Service department will be feeding students 18 years of age and under at six school locations across the parish. The meals are being prepared in to-go containers and will provide enough food for breakfast and lunch for each child according to federal guidelines for school meals.

Parents or students can pick up meals at Carver Elementary, DeRidder Junior High School, Merryville High School, South Beauregard Elementary, and Singer High School between 10:45 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays beginning Monday, March 23.

“We will be working out details as we go,” explained Cooley, “but our goal is to provide a meal for each student who needs one.”

School board personnel along with volunteers from community churches will be working together to hand out the meals. Due to daily new guidance from the state, plans may change in the coming days or weeks.

“We ask that those picking up meals be patient with us and practice prescribed safety protocols. Please know that we are doing our best to make this work in the most efficient and practical way possible, and that may mean making adjustments as we go.”

Parents can visit the school board website at www.beau.k12.la.us for information concerning these and other measures being undertaken by the school system at this extraordinary time and for any new information and changes to plans.

“We are all in this together,” concluded Cooley. “Our school system and its employees are dedicated to the needs of our students and will work toward solutions that will provide opportunities to continue their education under the current circumstances.”

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