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South Butler offers free breakfasts, lunches to all kids

Meal program serves district communities

Due to the increasing challenges faced by its families, the South Butler County School District announced free breakfast and lunch meals are available to all youths under age 18.

Superintendent David Foley said families living inside the district’s boundaries do not need to qualify for the district’s free and reduced breakfast and lunch program or even be registered in the district to receive free breakfasts and lunches. That means home-schooled, parochial and private school students can get breakfast and lunch meals for a week each Monday and Thursday.

Foley said when the meal distribution first began as school was closed, about 100 students accepted breakfast and lunch.

Not quite two weeks later, that number increased to 150 and volunteers now distribute 250 meals.

“There have been more challenges for families recently, with parents being furloughed and other factors, and we just wanted to make sure everyone is aware of the opportunity to get free meals,” Foley said.

Teachers, secretaries, paraprofessionals and other school staff members are serving as the volunteers who distribute meals picked up at the district and deliver meals to homes. Each volunteer’s temperature is taken as they arrive at the school to distribute or deliver meals.

“The employees of the district have really stepped up and said ‘Id like to help out,’” Foley said.

The delivered meals are left near the door and parents come out to retrieve the boxes after the volunteer has left, Foley said.

“We maintain the rules of social distancing and all of the protocols,” he said.

About half of the families pick up the meals and half have them delivered, Foley said.

The meals, which typically include breakfast items as well as a sandwich, fruit or vegetable, milk and a treat, are provided by The Nutrition Group. The company is the district’s food service contractor.

Foley said the district has applied for grants to continue the program.

“It gives parents another option for helping to feed their kids,” he said.

Both the forms to get meals and the application for free and reduced meal support can be found on the district’s website, southbutler.org, under “news and announcements.”

Foley asks residents to share the information above with families living in the district who may need meal support.