From now through Friday, April 17, the Roaring Fork School District is providing up to two free meals per weekday to all school-aged kids. The program kicked off Monday and pick-up locations vary. 

“All children 18 years of age and under will receive one breakfast and one lunch per day regardless of where the child attends school,” according to a recent announcement from the district. 

The program extends beyond low-income households and is available to all with “no qualifications required,” according to the press release.

“In recent weeks we have seen the shelves of our grocery stores empty. We know the need for food is great,” said Michelle Hammond, food services director for the district. “The Nutrition Service team is anxious to meet this basic need for the children of our community.”

Children need not be present to receive a meal, as they may be picked up by parents and guardians. 

“Meals will be provided on weekdays in designated locations in each community, including specific school sites and stops on bus routes,” it was noted.  Go to the district website for more information.

Jeff Gatlin, chief operating officer for the district, stated: “After each day, we are hoping to learn how we can continue to make this program better. Whether it is the quantity of meals or the locations identified, our goal is to adjust as needed to ensure we are meeting the needs of our families and communities.”

The Colorado Department of Education has received a waiver from the USDA allowing schools to offer an emergency feeding program that does not require meals to be provided in a group setting during the unanticipated school closure due to COVID-19. 

“Nutrition Service staff have been identified as essential employees and they have generously accepted this responsibility,” according to Hammond. “I am sincerely grateful to each staff member for their selfless commitment ensuring meals will be provided.”

This meal delivery schedule may change in response to program participation and need. According to the release,  any program changes will be communicated in short order.