No school, but meals are still delivered
By Steven Hoffman
Although the schools in Pennsylvania have been closed due to the coronavirus pandemic, they are still providing meals for those in need. The food program outside the school buildings began locally on March 18, and as of now will continue until further notice.
It was rainy and raw on Monday morning, but the food service crews from the Kennett Consolidated School District were out in force giving out “grab and go” bagged lunches.
The staff members have planted their food stations and trucks at three locations in the district: Mision Santa Maria on Gap-Newport Pike in New Garden, Chavelos Mexican Restaurant (old Brown Derby) in Toughkenamon and The Garage parking lot on Union Street in Kennett Square.
Any student under 18 is welcome to come and pick up a lunch between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.
Food Service Manager Janie Davis said Monday that the lunches are prepared by the Kennett kitchen staff, and the menus are changed daily to add variety.
She said they prepare about 300 lunches daily to cover the three locations.
On Monday at the Kennett Square location, she said they had 80 bagged lunches ready to go.
At the Toughkenamon location, Kathy Tavoni, a Krapf Bus Company driver, joined school district staff Carolyn Isakoff, Mark Tracy and Donna Giuliani at the table. She and her Krapf colleagues drove the lunches to their locations.
Krapf Bus Company Vice President for Risk Management Shawn McGlinchey said that Krapf is working with the district to deliver the food free each day using school district trucks. “We are paying our drivers in conjunction with the project. I’ve been in the Coast Guard, and this is what you do for people,” he said.
In his announcement of the school closings last week, Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf said this:
“The Pennsylvania Department of Education announced today that it received a waiver from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to allow eligible schools to serve meals to low-income students in a non-congregate setting, such as a drive-through or grab and go, during this closure. We will also work with schools to assist them with those plans.”
At the distribution sites, clients were asked if they were under 18 years old and given their bagged lunches. Tracy said the recipients who arrived have expressed their gratitude for the program.