Local school systems to serve lunches during closure

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Meriden, Wallingford and Southington school officials are working on plans to serve meals to students while schools are closed for the next two weeks.

On Thursday, many districts around the state announced they would close due to the coronavirus threat. Most are planning to reopen by March 30. 

But students eligible for free or reduced-price lunches often rely on school meals for nutrition and food-cost savings.

Wallingford School Superintendent Salvatore Menzo said the district will begin serving lunches on Monday.

“We will have three locations — Parker Farms (School), HUBCAP, and Lyman Hall High School,” Menzo said in an e-mail.

Meriden Public Health Director Lea Crown said Friday she was working with school officials on implementing a food delivery program in the city. All city public school students are eligible for free breakfast and lunch.

“We’ll be looking at the food safety end of whatever their plan is,” Crown said. 

On Friday afternoon, Meriden Board of Education President Robert Kosienski Jr. said the plan was to offer meals at seven sites from 11:45 a.m to 12:30 p.m. for anyone under age 18. Students may also pick up breakfast for the following day. Meals will be available at the bus loop at Lincoln Middle School, the bus loop at Maloney High School, Ceppa Field, City Park, Columbus Park, Habershon Park and the Meriden Green.

“Families will pick up the day's lunch, as well as the next day's breakfast to eliminate the need for multiple pickups,” Kosienski said. “This situation is extremely fluid and can change at any time.” 

Southington is also developing and disseminating a plan, said Superintendent Timothy Connellan. 

“As you know, the sands have been shifting quickly,” he said.

Southington students and other children in the household can obtain cold breakfast and lunch during the shutdown, said Sherri DiNello, director of business and finance for the school system. Boxed meals can be picked up from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at Derynoski Elementary School, 240 Main St., or DePaolo Middle School,  at 385 Pleasant St, beginning Tuesday.

Parents are asked to drive to the cafeteria side of the building at both locations. Either someone will come to the car to greet the driver or entrance to the building will be granted, DiNello said.. 

Bread for Life, 31 Vermont Ave., Southington, serves lunch at noon Monday through Saturday. Community Family Services, 91 Norton St., Plantsville, can also assist in providing food.

mgodin@record-journal.com203-317-2255Twitter: @Cconnbiz


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