Moffat County School District bagged lunch program hands out meals in record numbers
The sudden closure of Moffat County School District in mid-March during Spring Break caused some concern with parents who counted on the school district feeding their kids breakfast and lunches.
Fortunately for those parents and children, MCSD Food Services Director Laura Mouriquand stepped in and set up a bagged lunch program built around the summer feeding program the district has put on for years. Through that program, Mouriquand says the district has handed out 10,291 bagged lunches from March 23 to April 14 with meals for weekends included.
“That number might seem high, but it’s counting the bagged lunch as one meal and the breakfast for the next morning as one meal,” Mouriquand said.
During the summer months, Mouriquand said that the summer feeding program typically serves about 80-100 kids a day at the Boys and Girls Club. Currently, at the three food pickup locations the school has set up for parents (Early Childhood Center, Ridgeview, and Sandrock), Mouriquand says the district is averaging right around 300 meals served per day.
Parents with children ages 18 and under can pick up meals at any of the three locations from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday through Friday. The children don’t need to be enrolled in MCSD, and don’t need to be qualified for a free or reduced lunch to grab a meal either, Mouriquand added.
Despite the school district being shut down, the food service team with the district is still hard at work to feed the kids in the community.
“We wouldn’t be able to do this without them,” Mouriquand said. “I’m just so proud of them and thankful for all their hard work, because it just wouldn’t work without them.”
Mouriquand added that the workers are currently rotating and working two days a week to minimize their exposure, while also keeping everyone working.
At first, Mouriquand was concerned that the district might not be able to keep up with the demand for bagged lunches, but due to a shift towards bagged lunches across the country through school systems, food distributors have adjusted, allowing Mouriquand to order more of what she needs.
For the first few weeks, MCSD was handing out a piece of fruit, a peanut butter and jelly or a lunch-meat sandwich, and a snack in the bagged lunches, adding in cereal and milk for breakfast.
As the stay at home order continues and schools remain closed, Mouriquand is looking to switch it up.
“We’re going to start rolling out more lunch meat sandwiches, and some pizzas that the parents can cook at home, maybe some hamburgers too,” Mouriquand said. “…the best thing about this is we’re trying to provide the children a sense of normalcy during this time, whether that’s through a chocolate milk from school, or whatever that may be; a sense of normalcy can really help those children in a time like this.”
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