School district to implement ‘grab-and-go’ lunch program Monday

The Calhoun County School District will begin serving “grab-and-go” meals for all children 18 years old and under beginning Monday, March 23.
The program will be set up in four locations – Bruce and Calhoun City elementaries, Vardaman Schools, and the district office in Pittsboro. School cafeteria workers will prepare the meals at each school and other district staff will transport the meals outside where families can drive-thru and pickup the meals that will include a lunch for that day and breakfast for the next day for each child in the vehicle. Pick-up will begin at 10 a.m. and run through noon.

Calhoun County School Board held a video-conference meeting Thursday night.

There will be no charge for the meals and they will be available for all children, not just students within the Calhoun County School District. The district is covering the cost through it’s food service account and utilizing the state’s summer food service program.
Workers at all sites will wear masks and gloves and any staff who have been out of state the last few weeks or have any flu-like symptoms will not participate in the program.
Leigh Moore, the school district’s food service director, outlined the plan for the program during a video-conference meeting held by the county school board Thursday night.
Board members asked about the response from district employees and their willingness to work in this capacity. Moore said there had been a good response, but there are some with outlying issues that aren’t as comfortable working with this program during the COVID-19 crisis.

“We hope we can rotate the staff when we see how many meals we’re producing each day,” Moore said.
Federal regulations require only meals can be given out to children present, so all children will have to be in the car to receive a meal. Supt. Dr. Lisa Langford said they are looking at how to reach more children that may not have a way to get to one of the four sites.
“We’re going to figure out a delivery system on a case-by-case basis,” Dr. Langford said.
Board President Don Hardin asked about what the meals would consist of.

Moore explained the first few days would be a combination of cereal, Pop Tart, cereal bar, and milk for next day’s breakfast and a ham or turkey and cheese sandwich with chips, a fresh fruit and vegetable.
“We’ll have a better variety after we move forward and see exactly how many lunches we are preparing each day,” Moore said.
How long the program will continue is not certain as of this time. School has been postponed until at least April 17. Moore informed the board the budget is in good shape to support this program for now, but the school won’t be collecting any lunch money from students through this program so it will have to be re-evaluated if it was to continue beyond April 17.

For more information on the program you may call the school district's Child Nutrition Department at 662-412-3152.