March 26, 2020 – DPS61 announced plans today to shift its grab and go meal service to two days a week to increase access to the meals and also protect Aramark food handlers and DPS61 staff. However, delivery of the meals is still not an option.
As DPS61 announced today, meal service will continue as currently scheduled on Friday, March 27 and Monday, March 30, with Grab and Go pickup available from 8:00 – 10:00 a.m. at Eisenhower High School, MacArthur High School, Stephen Decatur Middle School, and Hope Academy.
However, Beginning Tuesday, March 31, meals will be distributed only on Tuesday and Friday and will include three days’ worth of meals on Tuesday and two day’s worth of meals on Friday. Each day of meals consists of breakfast and lunch. In addition, DPS is expanding pick up locations to French STEM Academy, Muffley Elementary, Parsons Elementary, and South Shores Elementary from 10:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. on Tuesdays and Fridays.
“We’re trying to balance making meals available for as many families as possible, while also limiting the possible exposure for our food service staff,” said Dr. Paul Fregeau. “This shift in distribution means we’re still providing five days’ worth of meals to our families each week, but they only have to come out to get those meals two times each week.”
Since the implementation of the Grab and Go program, some parents and members of the community have raised concerns about the district not providing delivery service by DPS61 employees or by school bus. However, only a limited number of communities in the state are using or considering this option due to safety concerns. Those include mandates for social distancing and contact with others to help control the spread of COVID-19. In addition, school transportation is handled by Alltown bus service and is not under the purview of DPS61.
Comparably, districts in surrounding communities are also taking similar precautions.
Maroa-Forsyth school district is offering grab and go meal service at 5 locations starting at 9 am on Monday. The pickups are in 15-minute increments at Maroa Library, Forsyth Library, Bristol Gardens Apartments, and Hickory Point Apartments until 10:30 am.
Meridian School District also recently adjusted its grab and go schedule to reduce the chances of exposure. Beginning Monday, pick up days will be held on Mondays and Wednesdays at the Elementary School, Middle School, Boody Post office and Hyde Park Post Office. Like DPS61, Meridian is providing several days worth of meals in each pick-up.
Argenta Oreana serves grab and go meals three times per week on Mondays Wednesdays and Fridays at four locations: Argenta-Oreana High School Front Door, Argenta-Oreana Elementary School Front Door, Wilderhaven Office Parking Lot and the Camelot Office Parking Lot. On Monday, meals for Monday and Tuesday are provided. On Wednesday, meals for Wednesday and Thursday are provided. On Friday, a lunch and a breakfast is provided. Families are also asked to register online to determine which pick up location they will be using.
Other school districts, such as Cerro Gordo, Urbana, Champaign, Springfield, Monticello, and Danville are providing similar grab and go programs for pick-up. None of them are providing delivery options.
If you are having problems picking up meals, contact United Way’s 211 Service for access to meal services.