Edmond Public Schools, in a letter to staff members, said they will continue to provide free meals at seven locations to any child ages 18 and under regardless of whether they qualify for free and reduced-price meals or what school they attend.
The announcement comes at a time when Oklahoma schools are being closed until at least April 6 because of health concerns with the potential spread of COVID-19.
Superintendent Bret Towne informed staff of the school systems’ plan on Tuesday. He said children must pick up their meals in person at several locations or at a drive-thru, which will only be available at Ida Freeman and Sunset Elementary Schools.
The following are locations and times:
• Ida Freeman Elementary School, 12:30 p.m. to 1 p.m.;
• Sunset Elementary School, 12:30 p.m. to 1 p.m.;
• Reed's Landing Apartments, 10:30 a.m. to 11 a.m.;
• Uni-City Mobile Home Park, 11:30 a.m. to noon;
• Lamplighter Mobile Village, 10:30 a.m. to 11 a.m.;
• Coffee Creek Apartments, 11:30 a.m. to noon; and
• Windrush Apartments, 12:30 p.m. to 1 p.m.
Towne said Edmond Schools is limited in the area where meals can be delivered due to federal guidelines.
“We are currently approaching local churches to assist in providing meals to children in the southwest corner, central and north-central areas of the district,” he stated.
Towne said, “The Regional Food Bank is also planning on continuing its backpack program. The District has not formalized plans to continue this program yet may seek volunteers to assist in the packaging of food to continue this program at schools.”
BANK SEEKS VOLUNTEERS
In a related news release, the Regional Food Bank on Wednesday was asking for volunteers because of the increase in need they are having and the guidelines from the federal government concerning social distancing.
“We are now in need of volunteers to help us pack emergency food boxes as we prepare our response to the COVID-19 outbreak,” states Austin Prickett, marketing manager. “We have opened several small shifts of nine volunteers to the public.”
Prickett said for questions, volunteers can reach out to him or Cathy Nestlen.
“With school closures and employment disruptions in Oklahoma, there is an increased need for food assistance. In order to meet that growing need, the Regional Food Bank staff has created a volunteer model that follows social distancing guidelines to the safest extent possible,” Prickett stated. “Shifts will have staggered start times and each volunteer group will include no more than 10 individuals. These emergency response volunteer shifts will begin on Thursday, March 19 at both the Volunteer Center and at the Moore Food & Resource Center. Weekend shifts are also available.”
Prickett said volunteers must not have a chronic illness such as diabetes, lung disease, or heart disease and cannot be older than 59 years of age. Also, volunteers should not have any possible COVID-19 symptoms including a fever, cough or shortness of breath. Additional safety precautions will occur prior, during and after each shift.
Please visit rfbo.org/volunteer to register for the emergency response volunteer shifts.