Posted Date: 09/04/2020
COPPERAS COVE, TX (August 25, 2020)—The mission of the Copperas Cove ISD Child Nutrition Department is to provide healthy meals for students. COVID-19 has created additional challenges for students to receive meals whether learning on campus or at home.
CCISD Child Nutrition Director Melissa Bryan worked with school principals to ensure meal service did not interfere with their campus plans mapped out to include social distancing and extra precautions to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19.
“Many of the schools wanted the ability to have all students select their meals and go straight to their classrooms and eat to allow more social distancing. So, the menu is conducive to a grab-and-go meal. We do have some schools whose students eat in classrooms, some who eat in cafeteria while socially distanced and some schools that have a mixture of doing both,” Bryan said. “We place all the components on the tray and the student picks out which tray he would prefer.”
CCISD’s additional challenge was offering meal service to students attending school remotely. Nutrition staff must keep counts of meals distributed at each site. Each grade level has different meal requirements including nutritional value and serving size. Each student is also still required to use his eligibility of the federal Free and Reduced-Priced Meal plan.
“Each day that parents pick up lunch, they also receive breakfast for the next day to reduce the number of trips required to come to the school,” Bryan said. “It is set up so parents pick up the meals at the school that their child attends right after the inside lunch service ends.”
Bryan said the meal count for virtual students is extremely low and she hopes more parents will take advantage of the food service offered by CCISD. She encourages each household to complete the Free and Reduced-Priced Meal application for the 2020-2021 school year.
“It does not matter if your child attends class on campus or is learning remotely, we need new applications for this school year,” Bryan said. “There will be a time when students will all return to campus and this eligibility will continue to be used.”
Bryan has faith that the pandemic will be over and her staff will return to a more active way that they interact with each student moving through the serving line.
“The CCISD Child Nutrition Department is at the forefront of helping make sure that kids in our community do not have food insecurities,” Bryan said. “Kids should not have to worry about what or when they are going to eat next. For every household in our community that does not have to worry about that issue, there are two more households that are struggling. The CCISD Child Nutrition Department will continue to work to make meals available for every child in the district.”
Children from households that meet federal Income guidelines are eligible for free or reduced-price meals. The application for free and reduced-price meals is online at http://www.schoolnutritionandfitness.com/index.php?sid=1408131753495602&page=lunchapps. Paper applications are also available at each school.