New meal programs are opening to children ages 1 to 18 in school districts statewide, thanks to dedicated school nutrition professionals around the state with the support and partnership of Oregon Department of Education Child Nutrition Programs.
Check out a meal site near you, and help spread the word on your social media accounts and in your community to help families with kids ages 1 to 18.
According to No Kid Hungry, one in six American children faces hunger and three out of four teachers report regularly seeing hungry kids in their classrooms. Oregon is especially high in food insecurity for youth. When school lets out unexpectedly for something like the coronavirus, it poses potential problems for many students who depend on school meals.
That’s why many school districts are now providing drive up or walk up, “grab-and-go” meals at selected school sites for all youth from 1 to 18 years old at no cost, regardless of income. These meals meet strict regulations for nutrition and are provided at no charge, with no need to sign up or show identification.
Even though these grab-and-go programs were just rolled out, they are already working. Hillsboro School District, just west of Portland, announced that 2,000 lunches and 1,200 breakfasts were served on one of the first days they were offered. Nutrition directors in Oregon and across the country anticipate the numbers will continue to rise as households are affected more long term and consume their existing and emergency food supplies.
On March 17, Governor Brown announced that schools in Oregon will remain closed until Tuesday, April 28. Since this situation is evolving, families are encouraged to check their school district website for updates and current information on local meal sites.