Child Nutrition Now Providing Meals for All Seven Days of Week
By Kim Underwood
Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools
APRIL 20, 2020 – On Monday, April 20, the Child Nutrition Department will begin providing a full week’s worth of meals for students who pick up meals at schools or receive them from the buses and vans that go out into the community.
In the past, Child Nutrition was able to provide meals for Monday through Friday only.
“We will start adding weekend meals,” said Alicia Crews, the Child Nutrition Department's Resident District Manager.
She is glad to be able to serve students by add the additional days.
“I feel really good about that.”
Child Nutrition has been doing an excellent job providing meals Mondays through Fridays since students started learning at home, Crews said.
“I am extremely proud of our staff and all of the efforts they are making to provide these meals.”
She praised not only those who were already based in schools but also those who usually work in Child Nutrition offices. In recent days, they have been going out to schools and working alongside the café staff.
“Everybody is pulling together,” Crews said. “We have a great team.”
Waivers from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and from states are enabling school systems to add weekend meals, Crews said.
Meals will now be served on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.
On Mondays, students will receive the meals for Monday and Tuesday.
On Wednesdays, they will receive the meals for Wednesday and Thursday.
On Fridays, they will receive the meals for Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
Before Spring Break, meals were offered Monday through Friday. Providing meals on three days serves families who come to the schools by cutting down on the trips they have to make, Crews said.
As it is, some families face such challenges as not having a car or having the money to pay for gas when they do have a car.
The new schedule also serves people working in the cafeterias by limiting the days in which they deal with social distancing issues.
Child Nutrition prepares meals for pick up at 48 schools.
At present, Child Nutrition operates 17 bus routes. Food for those routes is prepared at three schools – Parkland High, Paisley IB Magnet and Moore Elementary. There are multiple van routes as well with food being prepared at Ward and Carver.
With students not coming to school these days, Child Nutrition is not serving as many students each day as it once did. As Child Nutrition keeps reaching out in such ways as adding new routes for buses and vans, the number of students being served keeps going up.
At present, Child Nutrition is providing about 15,000 meals for each day.
With the special schedule during Spring Break, meals for Monday and Tuesday were served on Monday while Wednesday, Thursday and Friday meals were provided on Wednesday. That meant that, on Wednesday alone, Child Nutrition staff prepared and served 45,000 meals.
The meals intended for students to eat on the day they are picked up may include such items as hamburgers and hot vegetables. The meals intended for later consumption may include cold sandwiches or items that can be heated up at home such as corn dogs.
“This allows us to give families a little variety,” Crews said.
The 8th Annual School Lunch Hero Day is coming up on May 1. The national day was established to recognize the people who work in school cafeterias.
It’s certainly not business as usual right now, Crews said, but everyone has risen to the challenges so that we could continue to serve students.
“What better time to celebrate our awesome team?” Crews said.
To learn more about the meals program, go to Child Nutrition.
You can find out more about the May 1 celebration at School Lunch Hero Day.