From Dr. Lori Tubbergen-Clark
What a great community that we are fortunate to be part of---everyone pulling together to care for our children and one another. Thank you for all of your offers for help and support. All children ages 4 to 18 will be fed during the mandated school closure thanks to the hard work of school leaders, community partners and volunteers.
Many households rely on meals provided by school districts to feed their children throughout the day, so bridging that gap during the mandatory closure due to coronavirus is of great importance to school leaders. All Newaygo county school districts and partner organizations have been hard at work doing what they can to help provide meals during the coronavirus shutdown. Food deliveries will occur for the next three weeks in all school districts.
The Michigan Department of Education (MDE) requested and received a waiver from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to serve non-congregate meals. The waiver allows providers of school meals to serve meals without having to keep children together and on-site. This waiver allows districts to explore creative options for feeding children who depend on those meals even if the school building is closed. And that is just what schools in Newaygo County have done.
All school districts in Newaygo County have made a plan for students to pick up meals, or to have school busses/vans drop meals off on bus routes or specified locations, or a combination of the two to distribute boxed lunches and breakfast items. We’re not encouraging people to congregate. We really want to limit the availability of the virus to spread.
More information is available on the school websites but details include:
Big Jackson Public School: Food delivery to student homes by staff and community volunteers.
Fremont: Grab and Go at FMS between 11 AM and 1 PM and bus deliveries between 11 AM and 1 PM.
Grant: Grab and Go meals provided at numerous pick up locations throughout the district between 12 noon and 1 PM.
Hesperia: Food delivery via bus routes and pick up at designated areas on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.
Newaygo: Food delivery to designated locations on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.
White Cloud: Grab and Go at WCMS between 11 AM and 1 PM and bus deliveries between 11 AM and 2 PM.
GSRP Preschool Students: Local districts have kindly included these PK students in their K-12 delivery/pick up programs. We have a few gaps with children who do not ride busses and may not be able to access drop off locations. I will work with NC Emergency Services Director Abby Watkin’s office to fill this gap to assure these students have food resources.
Career Tech Center: “Powerpacks” with at least 6 lunch/dinner entrees, 6 breakfast items, and 6 snack items will be delivered Thursday to the 22 CTC students most in need for weekend food.
Education and Activity Center (students with special needs at the center-based program): We have some food access needs for this population. I will work with Abby to fill this gap as well.