NEWS




Submitted by: Amanda Aldridge, Nutrition Services Supervisor's Assistant Lincoln Public Schools

When schools abruptly closed and talk of alternative meal service started last spring, I knew it was something I wanted to be a part of it. Working at a Title 1 Elementary school, in the heart of a community of families that are at a higher risk for severe negative impacts from this pandemic, I wanted to do all I could to give a little familiarity to the students and families I serve. Our district had several sites throughout the city for families to pick up weekly children grab and go meals throughout the summer, in which nearly 750,000 meals were distributed.  Nutrition Services staff who choose to work were supported with district provided staff from purchasing, transportation, custodial services and delivery/warehouse. At my school we also had help from our Family Care Coordinator and Assistant Principal, it really was our community coming together to serve the community. For a majority of students and staff it was our main source of outside the home socialization, we were greeted with just as much excitement and enthusiasm as given.  It gave us the opportunity to get a little glimpse of how our students were doing and allowed us to show students and families that no matter what we are there for them. We got to know a few family pets, some new to the city families, grandparents gathering meals to help out their families and neighbors, it also allowed us to reconnect with neighborhood students who have moved on to middle and high school. We were one of the first in the district to learn how to manage working in masks, with quite a few families and students quickly following suit. We experienced all types of weather from near freezing temps after spring break, to rain and wind, luckily we only had a few of those hot and humid Nebraska summer days. This is a stressful and uncertain time for all, but all that who pitched in agreed that the grab and go distribution was as beneficial to us as the families we served.