BELOIT—The School District of Beloit is feeding more children each week as local businesses and other organizations step up to lend a hand.
During the first week, starting March 16, the lunches were offered, 6,434 meals were given out. Last week, 13,816 meals were distributed, according to Executive Director Business, Human Resources and Operations Jo Ann Armstrong.
“As time goes by more people are in need. I am so excited about how much we are able to do,” Armstrong said. “I’m so proud of our partners and the outpouring of community support. What we are doing is so important and necessary in our community right now.”
The School District of Beloit continues to provide a “Grab and Go” sack lunches and breakfasts for all children ages 1 to 18, available Monday through Friday from 11 a.m.—1 p.m. at all elementary schools which include Converse, Gaston, Hackett, Merrill, Robinson and Todd and at Beloit Memorial High School.
Armstrong said Hackett is the district’s largest pickup site, followed by Robinson, Todd, and Merrill.
Those who do not have transportation, have health issues or have been exposed to COVID-19 can get lunch deliveries from the district. Those wanting delivered must call for the meal by 10:30 a.m. at the hotline at 608-361-3136. Last week, the district delivered 2,208 meals.
The costs for the meals will be reimbursed under the federal summer food service program. The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (DPI) receives federal funding through the USDA, which in turn will be dispersed to districts approved by the program.
Armstrong said many partners have stepped forward to help with the program. Domino’s Pizza at 204 Park Ave. delivered 260 pizzas to students on April 21 and again on Friday.
Shane Schultz, a delivery driver at Domino’s Pizza, said Domino’s Pizza wanted to find a way to give back to the community and provide students with hot lunches.
“Domino’s definitely wanted to make sure to let the community know it’s here for them and willing to help,” he said. “I know myself and the other delivery drivers were more than happy to step up and help deliver the pizza nice and hot to the hungry students.”
Schultz said the Domino’s franchise owners are Joel Burton and Nate Burton.
Durham School Services bus employees have been volunteering at the distribution sites and assisting with delivery since the teachers who had been previously volunteering had to begin creating online instruction.
“Durham stepped up right away, and the kids really enjoy seeing their bus drivers,” Armstrong said.
The Stateline Family YMCA, Community Action and Stateline Boys and Girls Club partnered to distribute 100 activity bags Hackett and 100 bags at Merrill.
“They have another 400 bags for us which will be 100 for each of our remaining elementary schools,” Armstrong said.
Pepsi and Dollar General have also donated bags to use for the lunches.