School districts pack thousands of lunches for students

Posted at 4:54 PM, Mar 23, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-23 18:51:04-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — School districts across the metro are bagging up thousands of lunches to drop off and hand out to students while they're out of school due to coronavirus restrictions.

Lunches are being served in parking lots or staffers are loading up buses to drop meals off to families.

Normally packed with children, the cafeterias are instead filled with thousands of brown sacked lunches.

The Kansas City, Kansas, School District prepared 8,000 lunches on Monday. They will hold a drive-through pick-up from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday at J.C. Harmon High School, Arrowhead Middle School, Wyandotte High School, and F.L. Schlagle High School.

"We picked a number, started off high, that way we have plenty of food for the community and will base it off our participation going forward," said Jessica Lawrence, with nutritional services for the KCKPS.

For a full list of dates and locations for pickups throughout the metro, click here.

The lunches are only for children, and the student must be present when families pick up lunch.

The sacks are filled with items like sandwiches, chips, fruit cups, yogurt, cheese sticks, juice and milk.

Students in Missouri are out of school through at least April 24, and students in Kansas won't be back to school until at least next fall.

This is something most of these students have never experienced before.

"It’s kind of boring," said Jaqueline Ibarra, an eighth grader. "I really do miss school. I miss my friends. I miss learning. I miss doing homework. I’m kind of surprised, but I do miss school a lot."

The districts are making sure children still receive a meal five days a week. Lori Danella, Nutrition Director for Lee's Summit schools, said that is "very important" to the community.

"So many people are out of work right now," Danella said. "Parents are having to stay at home with their children because they don’t have childcare. Many don’t have the funds to be able to afford to purchase extra groceries, and that way we can provide breakfast and lunch for them."

Lee's Summit schools held several drive-through pick-ups but also delivered meals to apartment complexes across the city where their students live.

The lines were steady Monday, and the district is prepared for longer lines this week.