UPDATE – Please see newer article regarding a change in the distribution schedule.
After a successful first few days, Dearborn Public Schools on Monday will add a seventh site where families can come pick up free breakfast and lunch for students.
O.L. Smith Middle School will start offering the grab-and-go bags of food on Monday, March 23. It joins Fordson, Edsel Ford and Dearborn high schools; McCollough-Unis; Salina Intermediate; and Woodworth Middle School, which all started offering meals on Tuesday, March 17.
The District distributed about 3,000 meals on Tuesday, 5,000 meals on Wednesday and 7,500 meals on Thursday across the six locations, reported Food Service Director Jeff Murphy.
“Our families are very appreciative of this service. As word spreads, more families are using the meal program each day,” Murphy said.
Parents or students can stop by any of the food locations between 10 a.m. and noon each week day and grab one bag of food plus milk for each child under 18 in the home. Students do not need to be present, and the Dearborn School student does not need to attend at that building. A designated person can collect meals for multiple children. Meals for Saturday and Sunday can be picked up on Friday.
Each bag contains food for both breakfast and lunch for the students.
Signage at each site will direct parents and students to where to enter the building. Food will be near entrances, usually near the kitchen, to minimize the amount of time community members spend in the facilities.
The program is allowing the District’s 20,700 students to continue to have access to healthy food. Meals are provided through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s School Lunch Program. Dearborn Public Schools already used the federal program to offer all kindergarten to 12th grade students free lunch and breakfast on school days.
Earlier this month, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer ordered all Michigan schools to close from March 16 through April 3 to slow the spread of novel coronavirus and cases of COVID-19. Dearborn Schools is scheduled for spring break April 6 to 10, so school is not scheduled to resume in the District until April 13.
The grab-and-go meals will be served at least through April 3. (Updated 3/23/20 – Meals will now be distributed through April 13.)
Superintendent Glenn Maleyko praised the District’s food service team for quickly implementing this drastic change in service to meet the needs of families.
“More than three quarters of our students qualify for free or reduced priced school meals,” Dr. Maleyko said. “We realize this food is important to our families, many of whom may be facing additional financial hardships from the sudden economic changes related to COVID-19.”
Check the Dearborn Public Schools website at www.dearbornschools.org for any updates or changes to the meal program or for other issues regarding the school closure.
See the press release in Arabic.