School board secures food delivery program for June

School bus driver Kortnie Wright (left) helps April Grondahl of Princeton with food pickup Friday outside the Caldwell County Board of Education office. The board will continue feeding households with children younger than 18 until May 21, after which a federal program called Meals-to-You will deliver nonperishables from June 1-30. Parents with children younger than 18 can apply at mealstoyou.org/emergency-meals-to-you-application. Enrollment ends Friday, May 15.

Caldwell students 18 and younger can continue receiving meal assistance this summer, Superintendent Nate Huggins said.

Meals-to-You is a U.S. Department of Agriculture-funded program to mail non-perishables to households from June 1-30.

Sign-up is “first-come, first-serve” at mealstoyou.org/ emergency-meals-to-you-application. With enrollment ending Friday, May 15, Huggins urged all who qualify to register.

“It’s an absolutely wonderful program and a heck of an opportunity for parents to keep their kids fed (during this pandemic),” the superintendent said. “There are many unemployed who haven’t gotten any funds yet; this is a way to help.”

Huggins said the school board will continue providing meals until May 21, the last regularly-scheduled day of the school year.

After the Meal-to-You program’s assistance ends, Southside Baptist Church’s King’s Kitchen program will provide meals through July.

Huggins thanked all assisting organizations during COVID-19, adding that it’s taken a village to keep meals on tables during a global pandemic and recession.

Currently the school board funds twice-daily meals during the week for 750 Caldwell students younger than 18 — 1,500 meals a day, Huggins said, amounting to about 12,000 meals provided since early March.

The Caldwell Backpack Program has also contributed weekend meals.

“Without this help we’d have to pay our cooks overtime, pay for transportation … some is reimbursed (by the government), but not all,” he said. “We’re extremely grateful for all the help that’s been provided.”

He also thanked director of food service Will Brown who applied on Caldwell’s behalf for the program.

“With this program we can feed them through June … it’s great we’re going to continue to provide for students,” Brown said. “It’s absolutely important that parents sign up as soon as they can.”

Brown said if parents have any questions or concerns, they can call the school board at 270-365-8000.