Students who rely on their school’s lunch program still have access to it at numerous locations.
The Litchfield Elementary School District offers eight locations where parents can take their kids for a grab-and-go lunch and breakfast program during the COVID-19 pandemic. The program is available for students of the district as well as any other children.
Michael Ousky is a parent from the district who has three children. He said people who are impulse buying food and supplies at the grocery stores need to keep others in mind.
“We took advantage of it yesterday and today,” Ousky said. “It’s a valuable resource knowing there is peace to mind with all the empty shelves in the stores. You don’t stress not finding a gallon of milk or a loaf of bread when you know you can pull up to the curb here and the kids will have breakfast and a lunch.”
In addition, Ousky said his kids have been very restless as they don’t understand the concept of social distancing but that the district’s supplemental work packet, an academic support for parents to educate their kids from home, has been a valuable tool.
Gina DeCoste, executive director of programs and instruction for the Litchfield Elementary School District, said, “We’re providing grab-and-go meals in a nongroup setting at four school sites and four bus stops currently. We will begin delivery for students with special needs and families with extreme circumstances on Monday (March 23).”
DeCoste said the program allows students 18 and younger to grab breakfast and lunch while practicing social distancing. The program is tailored so that each student will receive one bag, saving them an extra trip per day.
DeCoste said the program began Wednesday, March 18, and the district served 1,416 people Thursday, March 19.
“It benefits the parents, especially in these circumstances that we have never been in before,” DeCoste said. “There are shortages of supplies and food at the grocery stores, so we’re benefiting our children who normally receive free or reduced-cost lunches and breakfast but we’re also benefiting those other families that are struggling because of the unparalleled circumstances that they are facing right now.”
Grab-and-go locations include:
• Barbara B. Robey Elementary School, 5340 N. Wigwam Creek Boulevard, Litchfield Park, 10 to 11 a.m, Monday through Friday.
• Corte Sierra Elementary School, 3300 N. Santa Fe Trail, Avondale, 10 to 11 a.m, Monday through Friday.
• Rancho Santa Fe Elementary School, 2150 Rancho Santa Fe Boulevard, Avondale, 10 to 11 a.m, Monday through Friday.
• Wigwam Creek Middle School, 4510 N. 127th Avenue, Litchfield Park, 10 to 11 a.m, Monday through Friday.
• Claremont Avenue bus stop, North 136th Drive and West Claremont Avenue, Litchfield Park, 9 to 9:50 a.m. Monday through Friday.
• Maryland Avenue bus stop, North 136th Avenue and West Maryland Avenue, Litchfield Park 9 to 9:50 a.m. Monday through Friday.
• Bella Mirage 3800 Lux Apartments, 3800 N. El Mirage Road, Avondale, 10 to 10:50 a.m. Monday through Friday.