|Mount Greylock Schools Working to Keep Kids Fed During Closure|
|By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff |
01:34AM / Wednesday, March 18, 2020
|Turkey and cheese sandwiches and fruit prepared at Mount Greylock Regional School for students who may need lunch. The school district is one of many making 'grab & go' meals for children during the three-week closure.|
Laurie Meehan helps pack lunch bags in the cafeteria at Mount Greylock Regional School on Tuesday morning.
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — Dozens of youngsters in the Mount Greylock Regional School District were brown bagging it on Tuesday.
But instead of bringing their lunch to school, they were getting a "grab-and-go" lunch from school courtesy of the district's food service staff.
At 7 on Tuesday morning, cafeteria personnel Tammy Jennings and Laurie Meehan were joined by acting Director of Special Education Patrick Priester and Superintendent Kimberley Grady in the cafeteria at the middle-high school.
The quartet prepared bags with a turkey and cheese sandwich, mayonnaise and mustard packets, an apple or orange, celery sticks, a granola bar a fruit snack pack and a chocolate milk.
Mount Greylock is one of many school districts in the county
doing what it can to help provide nutrition to its students during a state-mandated three-week school closure to help stop the spread of the novel coronavirus.
Some districts started offering the meals on Monday. Mount Greylock announced its program on Saturday in an all-district email blast from Grady and on Monday began accepting notification by phone or email from families interested in picking up lunches on the first day of the program.
As of Tuesday morning, about 25 had responded, but the crew at Mount Greylock made extras in case more showed up during the announced 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. window for pickup.
The lunches were then delivered to Williamstown Elementary and Lanesborough Elementary for pickup by families.
Grady said on Tuesday that she anticipates more families will take advantage of the program once word begins to spread via social media and a pop-up message that was introduced on the district's web page Tuesday morning.
Although a high percentage of the district's families get their information through email, she also planned a targeted robocall later Tuesday to do more outreach. At some point, the district also may add a grab-and-go breakfast to replace the morning meal program at Lanesborough Elementary during the closure.
And Mount Greylock is making the meals available to any residents of Lanesborough and Williamstown who need them, Grady and Williamstown Town Manager Jason Hoch said Tuesday in a video on the town's community access television station, Willinet. Like the students, members of the public are asked to request their meals one day ahead so the district knows how many to prepare.
The meals are just one way the school district continues to serve its member towns during the schools' closure.
This week, the district is loaning its disinfectant fogger to both towns for use on their Council on Aging vans, Grady said.
The Mount Greylock
grab-and-go lunches will be available Monday through Friday for pickup at the district's two elementary schools. to arrange a lunch, call the district at 413-458-9582, ext. 1195, or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Pittsfield Public Schools' grab-and-go breakfast and lunch packages are available from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the following locations: Morningside Community School, Conte Community School, Dower Square Housing Village, Berkshire Family YMCA, Gladys Brigham Center, Boys and Girls Club of the Berkshires and Brattlebrook Apartments. For information, call 413-499-9322.
North Adams Public Schools' breakfast and lunch grab-and-go packages are available Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. to noon on a first-come, first-served basis at the following locations: Brayton Elementary School, Colegrove Park Elementary School, Mohawk Forest Apartments and Greylock Valley Apartments.
Hoosac Valley Regional School District offers grab-and-go meals at Hoosac Valley Elementary School Monday through Friday from 9 to 11 a.m. According to the district's website, it served nearly 80 meals on Monday.
The Central Berkshire Regional School District is continuing its existing weekly Food Backpack food assistance program during the closure period and is gathering information from families about how best to serve the nutritional needs of the community, Superintendent Laurie Casna said on Tuesday morning.