Pandemic forces change in school lunch procedures

Jesse Sang, Reporter

Schools face difficulties in finding ways to feed students after switching to distance learning. 

As school districts switch to online learning during the pandemic, parents are concerned about how to put food on the table for their families especially for parents that are not working. New challenges have been created due to COVID making it hard for school districts to hold local food banks, so they can distribute food to low-income families all while making sure no one contracts the disease. 

Granite School District has set up tents for food distribution for students and their parents, but the problem about this is that students aren’t able to take buses to school. Pick up locations have been made, but communities and neighborhoods have not gotten word of where to get the food from.       

In the U.S., 22 million students depend on free or reduced-price lunches, which are funded by the National School Lunch Program. Since the pandemic there has been a 77% reduction in served meals according to the School Nutrition Association(SNA)official website, https://schoolnutrition.org/

Good Nutrition helps students show up at school prepared to learn. Because improvements in nutrition make students healthier, students are likely to have fewer absences and attend class more frequently according to https://healthy-food-choices-in-schools.extension.org/. 

Mandy Loveday, lunch worker, said,  “School lunch gives you a nutritious meal so you can focus in school.” 

As school lunches are served procedures must be followed. Before a student is served lunch they first go into line which has tape to indicate the six-foot distance that students should be from each other, as students enter to get their lunch hand sanitizer is the front of the line so they clean their hands before reaching out to get the food. For safer measures the lunch ladies hand out the lunch to the student and as they retrieve the lunch they go to get their student lunch card scanned to avoid touching the touch pad. Additional cleaning is done to make sure that everything is clean. Bonnie Workman, a lunch worker said, “We are cleaning every chance we get.” 

Schools are switching to distance learning and for many students their main source of lunch is being taken away from them, and school districts are trying to find ways to safely hold food banks for these students so they can get some sort of nutrition.