Schools cafeterias will continue to serve students in need
Box Elder, S.D. — Rain or shine, Douglas Schools have provided over 70 thousand meals for students in need since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The group delivers 1,800 meals daily to students in the area, which are either picked up from school or delivered by bus. There is also a group of volunteers from Ellsworth Air Force Base, who take a portion of meals and deliver onto the installation.
The Unit 315 auxiliary American Legion wanted to show their appreciation and support for the food service workers and bus drivers who have put so much time into supporting the community. The auxiliary partnered with Prairie Ridge Restaurant and Gizzi’s to hold a luncheon for workers and volunteers at Douglas Middle School.
Vice President of Unit 315 Auxiliary American Legion, Karen McKim and her husband had been looking for ways to give back to the community.
“The best way we thought we could do that was to honor these special people that do this for our children in the community and help feed them,” said McKim. “The bus drivers, the food service workers, and not only just honor them, but to help two of our local businesses in Box Elder through this pandemic that we’re having.”
As much as workers appreciated the recognition, the task of feeding hundreds of children wasn’t lost on them. After lunch, they were back at work packing buses to send to children in need.
While schools have been able to provide lunch for students during the closures, they are now working to transition to summer lunch programs. Funding for the summer programs is different, so in certain districts, stricter practices will be put in place.
Douglas Schools have allowed children, even those outside the district to receive meals, but there will be changes in the coming weeks. Kitchen staff at Francis Case Elementary Miranda Mabry said,
“Parents will need to bring their children to the high school to pick up the lunch. And one other thing is, there’s gonna be no buses, so you guys, the parents need to plan to come get the lunches if they want to use the lunches that day. We won’t have the bus funding.”
Both Douglas and Meade schools will be transitioning to summer lunch programs on May 21. The Meade County School District has plans to continue providing for all children in need thanks to grants from the Black Hills Area Community Foundation and the Albert and Laverne Elliot Fund. Lunch will be served each weekday through at least July 31.