Topeka Public Schools prepares for meal distribution during remote learning

Published: Nov. 17, 2020 at 6:52 PM CST
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - Children under the age of 18 will be able to get a week’s worth of breakfasts and lunch meals from Topeka Public Schools (USD 501) meal distribution program Wednesday.

The meals will be available at several schools in the district and are available to any child under 18 even if they are not a 501 student.

Food service staff spent Tuesday packing the remainder of the meals at Jardine Elementary School.

The district will hold meal distribution on Wednesdays even though students are learning remotely.

Jardine’s Food Service Manager, Pamela Grimes said the pandemic has highlighted how important it is for families to be fed.

“Maybe they’re not so financially crunched that they need community help but they’re financially crunched to the point where our meals are helping their families survive and to be able to function,” she said.

“Now we know how relevant that’s become so that’s why it’s just as important to reach as many kids with these meals as we possibly can.”

Workers wash hands hourly and follow social distancing protocol to make sure the students can enjoy the food and be safe.

“We take our job very seriously we do not want our kids to get sick we want to be able to send home healthy food and make sure they stay safe,” 501′s Child Nutritional Specialist, Chris Wagner said.

It is all part of the goal to keep students at their best while they are remote.

“If you don’t eat you can get sick, if you don’t eat you’re slumbered, you don’t get the right by foods or exercise it doesn’t help your brain your brain doesn’t move,” he said.

“I really believe food and nutrition goes hand in hand in learning.”

Making sure kids do not go hungry is a force that keeps Grimes going.

“Knowing that quite honestly there are some kids that this is the only meals that they get that are a complete meal that are nutritional that’s going to help them to grow and honestly that’s what drives most of us,” she said.

“Knowing that there are hungry kids out there that we take care of with our meals.”

The following spots act as pick-up sites on Wednesdays from 11:00 am to 12:00 pm:

- Pine Ridge Prep

- Quincy Elementary School

-St. David’s Church

-Westminster Church

The following schools act as pick-up sites on Wednesdays from 11:00 am- to 12:00 pm and 3:15 pm to 5:15 pm:

- Highland Park High School

-Topeka High School

-Jardine Middle School

-Chase Middle School

-French Middle School

-Eisenhower Middle School

-Robinson Middle School

-Meadows Elementary School

-Williams Magnet School

More information can be found here.

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