There are lots of ways for us to help our friends, neighbors, and communities during the difficult challenges that for many have already begun and will likely persist for the next several weeks, or even months. In our Getting Through COVID-19, Together series, we will look at specific ways to do just that.
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Help Keep Students Fed
It’s a sad truth, but there are likely tens of thousands of students, maybe even hundreds of thousands who rely on the breakfasts and lunches they receive from their public schools every day. While the COVID-19 pandemic has the overwhelming majority of public schools shut down at least through late April, that needs does not disappear.
Many school districts are continuing to provide meals for students during this time – some districts are providing for all students who ask and others are only able to provide meals for their students in lower-income families. However, some districts are unable to provide any meals at all, and some parents that live in districts that are providing meals have difficulty getting them due to transportation or scheduling issues.
So what can we do? Well, first you can call your local school district(s) and confirm whether or not they are able to provide any meals during this time, and what students will have access to that information.
If the district can provide meals and you have the ability/availability, you can see if there’s anything you can do to help. Maybe you can donate food, or money, or even help put the lunches together. Maybe you can help hand-out or deliver the meals.
If the district is unable to provide meals to any or all students, you’ll need some more creativity. Maybe you can canvas your neighborhood and see if there are any families that need food assistance for their children. Maybe you can get in touch with a local food bank and churches to work to keep those kids fed.
There’s a dark temptation among many with a more libertarian or conservative bend to say good riddance to the lack of food being provided by public schools. After all, isn’t it a families job to feed their children?
Regardless of the merit that line of thinking may or may not have, the fact is we’re talking about kids here. If their parents are unable to provide due to genuine irresponsibility, that’s not the children’s fault. Regardless of our feelings on welfare or public school, let’s put those aside for now and make sure that kids are fed. We can tackle those other issues later.