Grab n Go going great at area school districts

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The Bluff View kitchen staff and many other school district personnel have been working hard to make the Grab n Go meal program successful. (Photo courtesy of the Prairie du Chien School District)

Brenda White, classroom aide, prepares sandwiches for next day delivery at River Ridge. (Photo courtesy of River Ridge School District)

The Wauzeka-Steuben School District prepared, packed and delivered 418 meals to children under 18 across its communities who are currently out of school and learning from home due to Coronavirus. Pictured, Bruce Zinkle and Samantha Larsen pack a van to be delivered. (Submitted photo)

By Ted Pennekamp

 

The “Grab n Go” meal delivery programs offered by area schools since the state mandated school closure began have been going quite well and are very popular.

Numerous school employees have been working hard to make the meals, package them and get them delivered.

Prairie du Chien

“The kitchen staff from B.A. Kennedy, Bluff View, and the high school are all coming together at Bluff View to package everything up,” said Bluff View Principal Nicholas Haug. “There may be some cooking happening in the other buildings for future meals but initially, it was all done at Bluff View (cereal, fruit, vegetables, granola bars, milk and more). We have teacher aides helping with the driving and distribution of the meals to families.”

Meals in the Prairie du Chien School District have been delivered door-to-door, said Haug who is helping to coordinate the effort. They began on Friday, March 20 and the window for deliveries is from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The meals include lunch and the next day breakfast delivered via five school vans.

Haug said Prairie du Chien has more than 400 students getting meals each day. 

“The support has been amazing and the commitment from the staff to make this happen has been outstanding,” said Haug. “Watching the kitchen staff work was awe-inspiring. I’m honestly at a loss for words to describe how great they have been through getting this put together. The same can be said for the teachers, custodians, secretaries, teacher aides, and all other school personnel. The levels they have risen to is just mind-blowing.”

Haug noted there have been some generous donations of supplies from area businesses as well. “We are thankful for these businesses that are helping out,” said Haug.

Cabela’s donated 10 coolers to be used to keep the sack lunches cold while the drivers are out delivering the meals. Hardee’s, Culver’s, McDonald’s, and Kwik Trip have donated carryout sandwich bags that the Prairie du Chien District is putting the breakfast and lunch meals in. He said one bag per student is needed for each meal. Approximately 800 paper bags are used per day.

For more information, people can contact Nicholas Haug at his office, 608-326-3701, cell 608-306-0743, email haugni@pdc.k12.wi.us, or at www.pdc.k12.wi.us.

Seneca

The Seneca Grab n Go program is also going great.

“Last week, we prepared and supplied 1,168 meals,” said District Administrator David Boland. “Food service personnel are working hard to provide district families with this support during the school closure. We hope many families take advantage of it.”

Pick-up for the Seneca free breakfast and lunch Grab n Go program is from Monday through Friday at the following locations.

•Seneca, cafeteria entrance, 3-4 p.m. and 5-5:30 p.m.

•Lynxville, Community Building, 4:30-4:45 p.m.

•Mount Sterling, shelter, 4:30-4:45 p.m.

•Eastman, Premier Co-op parking lot, 5-5:15 p.m.

This service is free to all children under the age of 18 regardless of school district, said Boland. Participants do not need to be eligible for the free and reduced program to take part in the Grab n Go program.

For more information, people can view the survey link on the Seneca School District website to sign up. Those with questions can contact Michelle Updike, head of food services at mupdike@seneca.k12.wi.us.

River Ridge

River Ridge is preparing and delivering breakfast and lunch for 300 children, totalling 600 meals a day, said Nancy Fassbinder, River Ridge School District Food Service Director. Meals are delivered directly to households.  

“Our four school vans leave every morning at 7 a.m.,” said Fassbinder. “Meals are prepared and delivered daily by a combination of our classroom aides and kitchen staff.  We have a great staff here at the River Ridge School District.”

At this difficult time,  River Ridge has so many staff who have offered to help in any way possible, said Fassbinder, who noted there have been offers from citizens in the community as well.

“We are dedicated to providing our children with nutritious meals daily,” said Fassbinder. “It has been very heartwarming to see everyone pull together and work as a team. River Ridge continues to be dedicated to meeting the needs of the children in our district.”

More information is on the River Ridge School District website.

Wauzeka-Steuben

The Wauzeka-Steuben School District began meal delivery to students on Monday, March 23.

“We have nearly 200 children signed up to receive a packaged lunch, and a breakfast,” said Interim District Administrator Dave Alexander on Monday. “We are using our bus drivers to drive school vans on the routes, with our paraprofessionals delivering the meals to the doors of the students. We also have a designated place at the school (an outside door) for meals to be picked up at school.”

For more specifics, people can contact Wauzeka-Steuben’s food service director, Carol Roth, rothcaro@wauzeka.k12.wi.us.

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