NEW ORLEANS — NOLA public Schools wants to make sure students have nutritional meals even during the coronavirus pandemic. The schools have been closed for much of the month, but the district is still providing meals as it would if school were in session.
The district is providing breakfast and lunch, and it is bringing the meals as close as it can to the students. Workers are using buses and idle schools as distribution centers.
The meals are served Monday through Friday from 9:00 in the morning until noon. Currently there are 43 locations around the city where parents can go to pick up meals for their children. The students do not need to be with the parents.
The program began on Monday, and workers served 2500 meals. On Thursday, they served 20,000 meals. But the district has about 45,000 students, so administrators know that while the numbers are going up, they can do better.
“Not only are we serving at our schools, we’re also using our bus transportation to bring meals to high density high population areas,” district COO Tiffany Delcour told WGNO.
The district wants students to know that they do not have to go to their school to receive a meal. They can simply go to the distribution location most convenient for them.
The system is set up so that parents do not have to get out of their cars. They simply pull up to the distribution site, and workers hand meals through the window. Or they can walk up and receive the meals.
Breakfast might consist of yogurt and fruit, while lunch could be a sandwich and vegetables. Drinks are also included.
“We do know that for many of our families, this is the most nutritious meal they receive,” Dr. Henderson Lewis, Jr., the district’s superintendent said.
One of the parents who took advantage of the meals on Friday was Gary McCloud. He needed meals for three students, breakfast and lunch.
“That resource means while I am out of work, I’ll be able to provide. And stay safer and stay inside,” he said.
The district could also add additional locations for the meal distributions. It has dedicated an entire webpage to the coronavirus crisis and its response. Click here for more details.