BELOIT—Aramark staff spent 13 hours assembling more than 10,000 meals on Sunday for the School District of Beloit to distribute to children, according to the district’s Executive Director of Business, Human Resources and Operations Jo Ann Armstrong.
“They have been extremely supportive helping the district and students, and it’s been an overwhelming response,” Armstrong said.
Any child from age 1 to 18 can obtain meals regardless of enrollment status in the district. Starting Monday, the district began passing out sack lunches and breakfasts, which will continue through April 3.
Aramark employees and some teachers who were volunteering their time ran meals out to cars .
“Food will always be available to our community,” Armstrong said.
Meals are distributed in a grab-and-go manner, by school district employees from 11 a.m.—1 p.m. at Beloit Memorial High School Field House’s outside pickup area. Meals are also at the following elementary schools: Converse, Gaston, Hackett, Merrill, Robinson and Todd. Intermediate school students may pick-up meals at the closest elementary school.
Starting Wednesday, Armstrong said donated books and worksheets will be passed out. Although the district’s website has lots of online resources, Armstrong said the district wants to make sure paper packets are available for students unable to use online services and for those who want to use paper for coloring and working.
It’s still unknown, Armstrong said, if the district will be reimbursed for the meals provided through this time period.
“We do not know if we will get reimbursed for the meals served during spring break period as it’s scheduled time off. They aren’t usually reimbursable to the district, but we are committed regardless of reimbursement status. The district has made that commitment,” Armstrong said.
Armstrong estimates it will cost $106,000 a week to provide the breakfasts and lunches, given the same number of students are fed as during regular school time. However, Armstrong said there could be additional children seeking meals as it’s open to those outside the district.
In addition to providing the meals, School District of Beloit will be having all of its buildings cleaned, sanitized and disinfected for when everyone arrives back. All district buildings have been officially closed.
Administrators and other necessary staff have been asked to work from home as much as possible.
If there were to be any reported cases of COVID-19 in Rock County, the district would re-evaluate if teachers are allowed to continue to volunteer with breakfast and lunch distribution.