Roaring Fork Schools providing grab-and-go meals for all children during school closure |

Roaring Fork Schools providing grab-and-go meals for all children during school closure

Re-2 bus driver Cheri Ruark hands out lunches to children at Davidson Park in Rifle.
Kyle Mills/Citizen Telegram

The Roaring Fork Schools will join Garfield Re-2 in providing free meals to all children during the ongoing school closure, beginning Monday, March 30 through the current mandated schools closure of April 17.

According to a Roaring Fork School District news release, all children 18 years of age and under will receive one breakfast and one lunch per day, regardless of where the child attends school.

“This program is not just for low-income households. it is for all children — no qualifications are required,” according to the release. 

“In recent weeks we have seen the shelves of our grocery stores empty. We know the need for food is great,” RFSD Food Services Director Michelle Hammond said in the release. “The Nutrition Service team is anxious to meet this basic need for the children of our community.”

Children do not have to be present to receive a meal; parents and guardians can pick up meals for their children.

Meals will be provided at 10 a.m. on weekdays in designated locations in each community, including specific school sites — Glenwood Springs Elementary School, Crystal River Elementary in Carbondale and Basalt Elementary — and at certain school bus route stops on a rolling schedule.

The locations and times are listed on the district website here. The meal delivery schedule may change in response to program participation and need, and any changes will be communicated immediately, according to the release.

“After each day, we are hoping to learn how we can continue to make this program better,” Jeff Gatlin, Chief Operating Officer for the district, said. “Whether it is the quantity of meals or the locations identified, our goal is to adjust as needed to ensure we are meeting the needs of our families and communities.”

Garfield Re-2 Schools began distributing pre-packaged meals on March 16, the first day of the state-ordered school closures. Any child 18 and under can get a free breakfast from 8 to 8:30 a.m. at any one of the following locations:

Rifle — Davidson Park, Cottonwood Park, Joyce Park, Centennial Park; Silt — Heron’s Nest RV Park; New Castle — Burning Mountain Park or Apple Tree Park. Lunches are available at the same locations from 11 a.m. – 12 p.m.

The programs were made possible because the Colorado Department of Education received a waiver from the USDA that allows schools to offer an emergency feeding program that does not require meals to be provided in a group setting during the unanticipated school closure due to COVID-19. 

“Nutrition Service staff have been identified as essential employees and they have generously accepted this responsibility,” Hammond said. “I am sincerely grateful to each staff member for their selfless commitment ensuring meals will be provided.”

Las escuelas Roaring Fork ofrecen servicio de comida para llevar a todos los niños durante el cierre escolar. 

Las escuelas Roaring Fork proporcionarán comidas gratuitas y nutritivas a todos los niños durante el próximo cierre escolar que comenzará el lunes 30 de marzo hasta el viernes 17 de abril.

Todos los niños menores de 18 años recibirán un desayuno y un almuerzo por día, independientemente de donde el niño asista a la escuela. Este programa no es sólo para los hogares de bajos ingresos: es para todos los niños – No es necesario calificar para este servicio. 

“En las últimas semanas hemos visto vacías las estanterías de nuestras tiendas de comestibles. Sabemos que la necesidad de comida es grande”, dijo la Directora de Servicios de Alimentos Michelle Hammond. “El equipo del Servicio de Nutrición está ansioso por satisfacer esta necesidad básica para los niños de nuestra comunidad.”

Los niños no tienen que estar presentes para recibir su comida; los padres y guardianes pueden recoger las comidas para sus hijos. Las comidas se proporcionarán de lunes a viernes en lugares designados en cada comunidad, incluyendo escuelas específicas y paradas en las rutas de autobús. Los lugares y las horas están detallados en la página web del distrito aquí. Este horario de entrega de comidas puede cambiar en respuesta a la participación y necesidad del programa. Cualquier cambio será comunicado inmediatamente. 

“Después de cada día, esperamos aprender cómo podemos seguir mejorando este programa,” dijo el director de operaciones Jeff Gatlin. “Ya sea que se trate de la cantidad de comidas o de los lugares identificados, nuestro objetivo es ajustar según sea necesario para asegurarnos de que estamos satisfaciendo las necesidades de nuestras familias y comunidades”.

Este programa es posible gracias a que el Departamento de Educación de Colorado recibió una exención del USDA que permite a las escuelas ofrecer un programa de alimentación de emergencia que no requiere que las comidas se proporcionen en un entorno de grupo durante el cierre imprevisto de la escuela debido a COVID-19. 

“El personal del Servicio de Nutrición ha sido identificado como empleados esenciales y han aceptado generosamente esta responsabilidad”, dijo Hammond. “Estoy sinceramente agradecido a cada miembro del personal por su generoso compromiso de asegurar que las comidas sean distribuidas.”

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