The abrupt end of the hybrid learning instituted at all schools across the Cherry Creek School district translates to “no more school lunches”. Though many students might not enjoy school lunches, a large number of students rely on school meals as their only source of nutrition.
When students are at home for days on end, they might not have access to nutritious meals. Some might not have access to food at all. Before remote learning was introduced, students were allowed to pick up food at nearby schools on the days that they were remote. On days that they were at school, they scanned their student ID for breakfast and lunch.
Priscilla Bloom, a supervisor of Food and Nutrition Services for the Cherry Creek School District, states “Though students aren’t on campus, nutritious meals are a necessity to ensure that remote learning is effective for all students. Healthy meals directly correlate to academic achievement.” Regardless of age, every student needs healthy meals to secure their success. The district’s sentiments about nutrition have resulted in the creation of a system for students to obtain meals.
Currently, students are allowed to pick up a week’s worth of breakfast and lunch on Mondays. Middle school students can pick up meals from 7:15 to 8:30 AM or 11 to 12:30 AM. High schools offer pick up times from 7:15 to 9:30 AM or 2:00 to 4:00 PM. Though other high schools do not offer pick up times after 4:00 PM, Smoky Hill will remain open until 5:00 PM.
Though in the past, the process to be approved for Free and Reduced lunch included an application and a ten-day waiting period, free meals for all students have been funded by the USDA. All 55,000 students are guaranteed free meals through December 2020. This measure was made from the understanding that a student’s financial situation could have changed drastically within the past few months. This change might not be reflected in the application used in the past.
The changes in the past few weeks, months, and year have caused difficulties for all people across the country. Though the current situation might seem bleak, students will always be able to rely on the free meals of the district. As minor as it seems, knowledge of where your next meal comes from provides a sense of stability for thousands of students within CCSD and nationwide.