Medway & Millis Schools Keep Feeding Kids through PandemicJul 30, 2020 10:49AM ● By J.D. O’Gara
Shown are prepared lunches offered at curbside pickup at both Millis Middle/High School and Medway Middle School. Thanks to federal funding, both districts have been able to offer any students who need it breakfast and lunch since the close of school. The program will continue through August.
Photos used courtesy of Shawn Fallon.
Between Millis and Medway, schools might be out, but students are still being fed. Since students were sent home in the spring, due to Covid-19, Millis and Medway Public Schools have not only kept a free lunch program going, they’ve expanded upon it.
“We committed early on that we continue to support (students),” says Ryan Sherman, Wellness Director at Medway Public Schools. “Right out of the gate, we collaborated with Susan Dietrich, Director of the Medway Village Food Pantry. Right when school shut down, we decided to offer school lunches and breakfasts, as we would anyway. Families could come three days a week, picking up enough food for seven days.” At the food pantry, Sherman says, families could pick up groceries on Saturday mornings. “Some did both, some did one or the other. Basically, if a family wanted to do both, it would provide their student with breakfast, lunch and dinner for seven days a week.”
Millis Public Schools, too, provided students with both breakfast and lunch, and according to Sherman, the Federal Government opened the program up to provide meals to anyone under 21.
According to Shawn Fallon, Director of Dining Services for both schools, by mid-July, the program provided just over 12,000 combined breakfasts and lunches in Millis and just over 12000 meals served, and just over 14500 meals served in Medway since school closed.
“Typically, we are reimbursed for the kids who are on free and reduced lunch, says Sherman, of Medway’s program. “They waived that requirement and reimbursed us for the food we’re serving to anyone.” Fallon explains the waiver comes from the USDA, which is reimbursing the districts for all meals served through August.
“There’s definitely a need, and I wonder if that need might grow a little now that that extra benefit has run out,” says Sherman.
Meals for all school aged children can be picked up at Millis High School on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays between 7:30 a.m. and 10:30 a.m., and between 7 a.m. and 9 a.m. in Medway at Medway Middle School.