Schools serving meals through closure

Staff hands out meals to students at Newport Middle School on Monday. The Lincoln County School District is providing meals during the state-mandated closure via delivery on bus routes, and meals can be picked up daily at five locations in the county. (Photo by Jeremy Burke)

LINCOLN COUNTY — The Lincoln County School District (LCSD) will continue to feed all students while schools are closed from March 16 to 20, as well as on March 30 and 31.

LCSD announced Friday morning it would suspend all classes and activities through the month of March, extending spring break to March 16. That decision followed an order from Gov. Kate Brown to close all K-12 schools statewide.

Part of the governor’s order included tasking each district to continue nutrition services during the closure, and the Oregon Department of Education requested a U.S. Department of Agriculture waiver to give flexibility in where and how these meals can be served. All LCSD students receive free meals while in school. More than half qualify for the free lunch program by income, and at some schools, close to 80 percent are eligible.

Starting Monday, Sodexo, the district’s food provider, began offering meals to all kids ages 1 through 18, with no need for income verification or other documentation. Meals were served to 1,426 students the first day, about 26 percent of enrollment. Breakfast and lunch were provided on Monday, and breakfast, lunch and dinner were offered starting Tuesday.

There are two options for students to receive meals. Buses will deliver meals on normal afternoon routes approximately four hours earlier than normal drop-off times at each stop. It is not necessary to be a bus rider or to sign up to receive a meal, only to meet the delivery at the bus stop. In the interest of safety and social distancing, the district asks those waiting for meals to stand back from the bus, and a staff member will bring the meals out to them.

Full route information is posted to the district’s website, which can be accessed at http://tinyurl.com/uavtknf.

Meals can also be picked up between noon and 1 p.m. at five locations in the county: Crestview Heights, 2750 S Crestline Drive, Waldport; Newport Middle School, 825 NE Seventh St., Newport; Taft High School, 3780 SE Spyglass Ridge Drive, Lincoln City; Toledo High School, 1800 NE Sturdevant Road, Toledo; and Siletz Valley Charter, 245 NW James Franks Ave., Siletz.

Signs will be posted indicating where cars should line up. Again, for safety and social distancing, the district asks people to remain in their cars for meals to be brought out.

The district does not currently plan to serve meals during the regularly scheduled spring break March 23 to 27. If you have questions or are a district employee who wants to help, email Jamie Nicholson at [email protected] or call Sodexo at 541-336-2156.

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