Meal Program Update

JENNINGS - The Jeff Davis Parish School Board is working to relaunch its student meal programs that were suspended earlier this week following the governor's stay-at-home order.

School Superintendent Kirk Credeur said Wednesday changes are being made on how local schools will continue to provide to-go meals to children throughout the parish. Beginning Monday, March 30, the school district will be handing out breakfast and lunch meals for five days for at least the next two Mondays - March 30 and April 6 - as long as it is able to sustain the program.

"We truly believe that in a three week period we can deliver over 30,000 meals," Credeur said.

On Tuesday, the school district ran out of meals after handling out nearly 10,000 meals. The meals included to-go breakfasts and lunches for the next four days.

Credeur anticipates another 10,000-12,000 meals will be distributed next week.

"I'm very impressed with what we have been able to do so far," he said "We increased our meals after the first day and we still ran out."

The drive-through and walk-through meal distribution sites will be open 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Mondays at Elton High, Jennings High, Welsh Elementary and Lake Arthur Elementary schools. Meals will also be distributed at Union Baptist Church in Jennings.

Meal distribution sites are open free to all students 18 years of age and younger. Students must be present to receive a meal.

"While most food service programs around the state are discontinuing due to various hardships, our people have preserved to make this happen," he said. "They truly are committed to making sure the needs of our students are met, and we appreciate them all."

Nearly 40 food service employees and more than two dozen community volunteers are helping prepare and distribute the meals at each location, he said. Those assisting at the sites are limited on what they can and cannot do due to safety concerns and to limit the risks of exposure to the coronavirus.

Parents concerns for children with food allergies are being considered and addressed.

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