Grab-and-Go meal program meets needs during COVID
The School District of Philadelphia will add 39 sites to its “Grab-and-Go” meals distribution program, making available a total of 102 schools for families to pick up meals for students while school buildings remain closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The distribution sites provide meal kits that ensure students have free, reliable and nutritious meals even while school buildings are closed. Since March 2020, the district’s Food Services team has distributed more than 6 million meals.
The “Grab-and-Go” meal kits contain seven breakfasts and seven lunches. Meals can be stored in a freezer until students are ready to heat and eat. Weekly menus include pantry staples like cereals, breakfast bars, pancakes and muffins, along with common school lunch items, such as whole-grain chicken nuggets, four-cheese panini sandwiches, bean-and-cheese burritos and macaroni-and-cheese. All meal kits include milk, vegetables and fresh fruit.
“When the pandemic first hit, one of our main concerns was ensuring how our students who rely on the district for access to healthy, nutritious meals could be supported,” said William R. Hite, Jr., Ed.D., superintendent of the School District of Philadelphia. “Our Food Services team stepped up and has diligently worked to seamlessly support our students and families during these unprecedented times. Our families have faced many concerns during this pandemic and we can find a little comfort knowing that, at least when it comes to meals for their children, this is one less thing for them to worry about.”
The School District of Philadelphia and City of Philadelphia continue to work together to ensure that all residents, including students, have access to free and nutritious food during the pandemic.