Schools offer new meal distribution plans with stay home order.

March 24, 2020

Meals awaiting pickup at Hart’s Spitler Elementary School.

Schools offer new meal distribution plans with stay home order.

By Allison Scarbrough, Editor.

Following the announcement of the Stay Home, Stay Safe order to slow the spread of COVID-19 signed by Governor Gretchen Whitmer Monday, March 23, local schools are offering meal distribution plans that provide more food with less contact occurrences.

HART

Hart Public Schools will provide a week’s worth of free meals for children Wednesday, March 25, at noon at Spitler Elementary School, said HPS Superintendent Mark Platt.

“In order to pool resources and prevent confusion, we are only serving from one location — Spitler Elementary,” states the school district’s Facebook page. “Please enter the campus on 72nd Avenue and line up to receive your meals from the Spitler Elementary side entrance, then exit onto Johnson Street. Police will be present directing traffic.

“We ask that day cares not take meals. If your child attends an area day care, parents may pick up meals on their behalf and share those supplies with their childcare provider if necessary. Please think of others and only take meals if you really need them and do not take more than your share.

“Any child, from any school district, age 18 and under, is eligible for these meals. Children do not have to be present; one person may pick up meals for any children in the household. We are no longer offering delivery. Parents can make arrangements with family or friends to pick up meals on their behalf.

If you have any questions, please contact the food service deptrtment at 231-873-6242.”

HESPERIA

“Parents, the Governor enacted the ‘Stay Home, Stay Safe’ order today that places significant limitations on public gathering,” states Hesperia Community School Superintendent Vaughn White in a post on the school district’s Facebook page. “We have been fortunate to transport student meals to homes this last week, but now we are obligated to transition to a new process that will significantly reduce the opportunity for our volunteers to be infected by the virus.

“We will no longer be distributing food on Monday, Wednesdays, and Fridays. Food will now be available at pick up sites on the district premises on Tuesdays and Thursdays to limit the amount of opportunity for exposure. This process will begin on Thursday, March 26, and will follow each Tuesday and Thursday after that through, April 9. We will not be distributing lunches Wednesday, March 25.

“Distribution of food will take place at the bell tower entrance on the north side of the building, at the elementary office on the south side of the building and at the middle school office on the west side of the building. Pick-up will between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m., and students will receive a three-day supply of breakfasts and lunches.

“It is important that those picking up food from the buildings stay in their vehicles and signal to the volunteers how many meals they need to feed their children. You may choose what distribution point you wish to drive up to. If the line is too long, just drive around the building to another site.

“Parents, we are experiencing unprecedented circumstances. We are grateful for the many volunteers that have helped through this process and thankful for their many tireless hours. We can only pray that by obeying the Governor’s proclamation we can get through this crisis. We truly miss our kids and hope we can see them in April!

Stay safe and healthy my friends.”

PENTWATER

Pentwater Public Schools is sharing meal distribution services with Hart and Ludington school districts, said Pentwater Public Schools Superintendent Scott Karaptian. So, meals can be picked up at Hart’s Spitler Elementary School by following the directions described above. Through Ludington schools, Pentwater families can pick up meals for their students at the Days Inn on Pere Marquette Highway Monday through Friday from 11-11:30 a.m. The daily service at that meal hub may change in light of the governor’s order, however.

Karaptian wanted to remind the community that any student can use any school district’s meal distribution site. So, a Walkerville student for instance can get meals from a Shelby site and vice versa.

SHELBY

Shelby Public Schools has made few changes to its food distribution program since it launched after Governor Whitmer’s state-wide school closure announcement Thursday, March 12.

“We are continuing to operate the sites Monday through Friday,” said Shelby Food Service Director Mary Rose Vanas. However, the school district is not utilizing volunteers to “minimize contact,” she said, and the 12-member food staff is solely handling the distribution.

“We don’t want the parents to try to figure out a new system,” Vanas said. She wanted to remind the community that students themselves do not need to be present to pick up meals and that parents can get the meals for the kids.

A new distribution site was added at Oceana Acres on Baseline Road, which is the Peterson Farms housing facility. Vanas said Peterson Farms employees are bringing the school meals to that location.

Vanas said her staff is committed to providing fresh and homemade meals for the students with a variety of meal selections. They provided walking tacos and refried beans Monday, March 23. “These ladies rock it out,” she said of her staff. The school district normally provides 950 breakfasts, 1,300 lunches and 450 suppers during a regular school day.

The following are Shelby schools meal distribution sites:

– Oceana County Early Learning Center, 568 N. Oceana Dr., Hart, 10-11 a.m.
– Trinity Lutheran Church, Stony Lake Rd., New Era: 9:30-10 a.m.
– Lake Tahoe Community Center New Era, 10:10-10:40 a.m.
– Shelby Middle School, 9:30-11 a.m.
– Barnett Station, Shelby, 9:15-9:45 a.m.
– Chapita Hills, Shelby, 9:47-10:30 a.m.
– Ferry Community Center, Ferry, 9:30-10:30 a.m.
– The Ladder Community Center, Shelby: 10:45-11:30 a.m.
– Oceana Acres, Shelby: 9:30 a.m.

WALKERVILLE

“Attention: Due to the state-mandated stay at home order, we will no longer be delivering and providing meals every day,” states a post on Walkerville Public Schools Facebook page. “We will deliver and provide meals for the entire week, once per week. We will provide enough meals for one week starting tomorrow Tuesday, March 24, 2020 and the next available delivery or pick-up will be Wednesday, April 1, 2020 from 10-11:30 a.m. at the school and 12-12:15 p.m. at the Bitely Church stop. If you need a delivery, please message on (the school’s Facebook page) or call the school. Please contact the school if you have any questions. This is an unprecedented time, so please contact the school if you have any questions or concerns. We are here for you.”

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