Dearborn to continue free weekly meal pickup, but student information will be required

Free weekly meal distributions will continue after school starts
online this month and will expand to more school locations.
However, the program will have some changes, including requiring
proof that the recipients are Dearborn Public School students.
Thursday, Sept. 3, will be the first day for the new school-year
program. Parents or other adults still will be able to pick up a
week’s worth of lunch and breakfast items for students. The adult,
though, will need to provide the name, school, and student ID or
student number for each student receiving a meal pack.

Parents are encouraged to pre-order meal pickup through
the Nutrislice website or app. This will allow them to enter the
student information once for the year. The software will remember
the information the next time the adult goes to pre-order. (Here are
directions for ordering online.) If they don’t pre-order online, the
adult will have to provide the information at pickup. The meals will
continue to be free to Dearborn Public School students. After the
first week, weekly meal packs will be distributed on Fridays, starting
with Friday, Sept. 11.

Meals will be available for pickup from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. each
week at Bryant Middle School, Dearborn High School, Edsel Ford
High School, Fordson High School, Henry Ford Elementary, the
Dearborn Heights Campus (Howe/STEM/Berry Center), Lowrey
School, Maples Elementary, McCollough-Unis, McDonald
Elementary, Miller Elementary, Salina Intermediate, Smith Middle
School, Stout Middle School and Woodworth Middle School.
At most locations, adults will be able to stay in their vehicles and
pull up to have food loaded in their car. Families that pre-order will
be able to use a special designated line. Student meals can be
collected from any building, even if the child attends a different
school

Dearborn Public Schools began offering free food distribution in
March just days after Gov. Gretchen Whitmer ordered schools to
close to slow the spread of COVID-19. Food distribution was
initially funded under emergency provisions of the School Lunch
Program. Food distribution continued over the summer through a
separate federal summer nutrition program, which will end in
Dearborn with the distribution on Aug. 27. Neither of those
programs required the district to collect student information. With
the restart of school, though, Dearborn Public Schools now is
required to link each meal to a district student in order to be
reimbursed through the National School Lunch Program. Each meal
pack will contain a breakfast and a lunch for each day of school that
week. Most packs will have 10 meals (five each of breakfast and
lunch), but some weeks may be smaller due to days off school.
The district has been distributing more than 60,000 meals a week and
has handed out more than 1.25 million meals since the shut down in
March.

“We are glad Dearborn Public Schools is able to continue to
distribute free nutritional meals to our students,” said Jeff Murphy,
director of food services. “We know this service is important to
many of the families who participate.”

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