The Harrison County School District is serving up 2,500 breakfast and 2,500 lunches a day throughout the school system.
School may be out, but cafeteria workers are still putting in a full day throughout the Harrison County School District as the ‘Summer Meals Program’ gets rolling.
Overnight, roasted pulled pork sandwiches, just one choice on the menu Tuesday, along with grab and go snack goodies at Three Rivers Elementary School. Harrison County School District Director of Child Nutrition Brad Barlow said, “This is one of nine sites we have open providing free breakfast and lunch for the community. It’s all packaged in one large package from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. every day. No enrollment or application is needed. Just a child shows up, and we provide them with these packaged meals.”
Barlow says they’ve served up 85,000 meals since the state’s shelter in place went into effect and the demand keeps growing, especially with three out of four students in Harrison County receiving free or reduced meals. “We knew there was a sense of urgency to provide meals in the wake of this disaster. We knew people were losing their jobs. They received free and reduced meals during the school year already so we reacted quickly. Right now, we have seen the numbers in the month of May increase. Whether that is due to stimulus money drying up or unemployment, we have seen an uptick in the meals program during the month of May.”
These meals served daily Monday through Friday aren’t all that’s on the menu. Schools are also offering instructional materials to feed students’ minds and to help them learn and grow. Three Rivers Elementary School Assistant Principal Kevin Roberts said, “This caught everybody off guard. You couldn’t be prepared for it because nothing like this has happened. So far, it’s been pretty successful. Parents have been pretty happy.”
From the looks on the kids’ faces, they’re also pretty happy with it all.