SOUTHINGTON — Children at home from school can get breakfast and lunch at more locations starting Wednesday.
The public schools were providing meals to children from Derynoski and Depaolo schools through curbside pickup every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Starting Wednesday, the district will begin distributing meals at all elementary and middle schools throughout town.
“This program is available to all families and we know many may be experiencing reduced income with so many businesses shutting down,” said Sherri-Lin DiNello, the district’s business director. “We want everyone to know they can participate regardless of income level.”
Students and any younger siblings in the household can each get two breakfasts and two lunches. That provides school food for the majority of the day from Monday to Saturday.
Meals will be provided from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 10 schools. Families can pull up to the school and a school worker will bring a meal to the curb.
Meals are not being delivered from Southington High School.
DiNello said there’s a partial federal reimbursement for each meal given.
“We are keeping a count on all meals distributed,” she said. “I do not know how many more meals will be distributed with the expansion but I do think that it may increase as families begin to suffer loss of income due to businesses closing.”
School officials will be reassessing how many meal locations the district will run. DiNello said the district will be communicating with families about any changes.
Joseph Baczewski, Board of Education vice chairman, said expanding the number of meal sites helps avoid lines and crowds as people pick up food. More sites also means more accessibility for families.
“We don’t want people congregating all in the same spot,” Baczewski said.
Terri Carmody, the school board chairwoman, praised the efforts of school administrators. She was glad meals were being made available more easily to town families.
“What a wonderful, wonderful job our entire school system is doing,” she said. “They’re making sure that all the children that need to are getting fed.”
Despite widespread quarantine, Carmody said, teachers and school leaders and families were doing good things.
“There’re so many wonderful stories out there,” she said.