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Staff delivers student meals in short order

Staff writer

The state shut down 2,150 of its public and private schools, but within nearly a week Marion County’s school districts were providing healthy meals to their students.

“It took preparation, planning and lots of conference calls,” said Sarah Queen, director of nutrition at Marion Elementary School.

Marion, Hillsboro and Peabody’s students received their first grab-and-go meals on March 23 and Centre students on March 24. Goessel’s students were given their first meals Tuesday.

Meals are free to all children up to age 18.

Queen said participation in the program in Marion has since grown.

“It has gotten better and better every day,” Queen said. “The first day we were really nervous.”

Queen and her staff of three begin preparing breakfasts and lunches and packing them in to-go boxes for students at 7 a.m. every day.

The group has served ham and cheese, and peanut butter and jelly, but also plan to prepare hot dogs and cheeseburgers.

The students have been offered bagels and cream cheese and cereal muffins for breakfast.

The menu items seem to be a hit with families.

Only 340 meals were picked up on March 23, but by that Thursday staff at Marion Elementary School were giving out 510 meals a day.

“I think they weren’t expecting those meals,” said Queen. “I think they saw what they were getting were pleased and wanted to participate.”

Hillsboro Elementary School principal Evan Yoder said they have had good response and are feeding about 300 breakfast and lunch daily.

The district’s bus drivers take meals to some of its rural families, if they are unable to make pickup times, he said.

“For some families it is too difficult to get everybody loaded up and haul off to where they would be,” he said. “This gives our bus drivers the opportunity to do what they do, deliver — kids or food.”

Student meals in Marion County

  • Marion-Florence USD 408: 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at Marion Elementary School or at Florence City Library.
  • Hillsboro USD 410: 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at Hillsboro Elementary School, Lehigh’s City Building or Durham Baptist Church. Deliveries are made to some rural families on request.
  • Peabody-Burns USD 398: From 11 a.m. to noon at Peabody-Burns High School and Burns Community Center. Deliveries are also made to some rural families.
  • Centre USD 397: Delivery to rural addresses or six locations; Burdick – outside Burdick United Methodist Church; Lost Springs – near the front of the city’s post office; Ramona – in front of the post office; Tampa – outside the city’s community building; Pilsen – in the parking lot of St. John Nepomucene Catholic Church; Lincolnville – outside the city’s community building.
  • Goessel USD 411: 11:30 to noon at Goessel Elementary School.

Last modified April 2, 2020

 

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