Owensboro Public Schools offering free meals while schools are closed

Owensboro Public Schools offering free meals while schools are closed

OWENSBORO, Ky. (WFIE) - With Owensboro and Daviess County Schools closing for the next three weeks, Owensboro Public Schools is also stepping up to feed underserved kids.

Due to fear surrounding coronavirus (COVID-19), Owensboro and Daviess County students will not be back in the classroom until April 5.

This means that students will not be able to receive school meals for three weeks.

“We’re going to be providing meals free of charge to anyone under the age of 18 throughout this school closure," Owensboro Public Schools Public Information Officer Jared Revlett said.

76 percent of OPS students are on free or reduced lunch, so school officials say these actions are necessary, but the meals are not just for Owensboro students.

“They could be Daviess County students, Owensboro Catholic, they could come from McClean County, Evansville," Revlett said.

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Owensboro Public Schools spokesperson says if they show up to a feeding sight, they will be fed. He says this will mimic the district’s summer feeding program with a few exceptions.

“It is all non-congregate, meaning that you do not stay and eat your food on site. You grab your meal and go back home," Owensboro Public Schools Food Service Director Kaitlyn Blankentaal said.

Blankentaal says they will be pulling out all the stops to prevent germs from spreading.

“We are going to have food service staff hand the food directly from the bus straight to the kid and go," Blankentaal said. “There should not be any additional contact.”

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For the next couple weeks, Tonya Green and cafeteria staff at Estes Elementary will be putting together breakfast. They started prepping Friday.

“We’re going to do about 1,000 meals (on Friday) because we’re not really sure how many meals and then we’ll adjust either more or less come Tuesday morning,” Green said.

Thanks to a waiver from the federal government, OPS officials say they will be serving meals throughout the district’s scheduled spring break as well.

“Come out and get breakfast, get a lunch, make sure you have food while school is out," Blankentaal said.

You can find a list of feeding sites here: https://owensboro.kyschools.us/archives/2136.

You can find the latest information on school closings from the governor here: https://www.14news.com/2020/03/13/cases-now-ky-gov-beshear-giving-friday-update-am/.

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