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K-12 schools look for ways to feed students during COVID-19 closures

Volunteers boxing up food
Bryce Huffman
Michigan Radio
Volunteers packing breakfasts and lunches for families at New Faith Temple Church of God in Christ

K-12 schools all over Michigan are closed due to COVID-19. But what about students who rely on school breakfast and lunch for their daily meals?

Well different school districts have different solutions.

New Faith Temple Church of God in Christ in southeast Grand Rapids, for example, is one of eight locations around the city handing out meals to Grand Rapids Public Schools’ families while schools are closed.

Reverend Deidric Tupper, the pastor at New Faith Temple, and his wife Natasha Tupper decided to help pass out meals once they heard schools would be closed last week.

“To make sure that families are able to feed their children, and that the working class is able to reduce their grocery bill so that they have funds to provide other basic needs for their family,” Tupper said.

Rachel Olexa is a mother of seven kids. They are all home instead of at school. She says she stocked up on groceries last week before learning that schools would be closed.

“We’re already out of produce, we’re already out of milk, and I really don’t want to go to the grocery store because of all the germs. So we’ll probably be here as long as they offer the service,” Olexa said.

Other school districts have similar programs. In Muskegon Heights, meals were sent out on buses for parents to pick up at their local bus stops, and some rural school districts, like Baldwin, are offering free school meals for multiple days in one delivery.

Check with your local school district to see what meal assistance is being offered while schools are closed.

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Bryce Huffman was Michigan Radio’s West Michigan Reporter and host of Same Same Different. He is currently a reporter for Bridge Detroit.
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