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School Lunch Week Highlights Dedication of Cafeteria Staff
October 12, 2020 — This year's National School Lunch Week is more special than most. Instead of typical duties preparing and serving lunches in cafeterias, Midland ISD's Child Nutrition Services (CNS) workers have worked tirelessly to serve the community during the seven months since COVID-19 first shut down schools.
"It's been quite an exciting few months," said Victoria Beck, MISD's CNS Director. "It took hours and hours of planning to prepare and make sure all of our students were adequately fed during this time."
When campuses first closed, CNS was tasked with developing a plan to distribute breakfast and lunch to every child in Midland. This required our teams to make several changes in food delivery, including serving both breakfast and lunch at the same time, and preparing meals for curbside pick-up. CNS also worked with MISD Transportation to deliver and serve meals at multiple sites throughout the county, and even provided home delivery for some families.
"We were pleased to be able to deliver meals at a time and place that was convenient for parents," Beck said. "We wanted to be a source or reliability during a time of uncertainty."
Cleanliness and sanitation are always a priorities in our school cafeterias, but the advent of COVID meant additional measures for CNS workers, including mandatory masks and gloves, social distancing among staff, disinfecting the cafeteria between each lunch period, and making food available a la carte.
Approximately 150 CNS employees serve students at campuses across the district. Prior to the pandemic, Midland ISD served more than 25,000 school meals every day. Beck says they currently serve about 17,000 meals between cafeterias and pick-up sites.
"We want to make sure all students and parents are aware of what's available right now," Beck said.
Parents with children 18-years-old or younger can pick up FREE breakfast and lunch from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at select locations around the county. Parents with pre-school aged children may also pick up the free meals. A full list of locations and other information regarding the meals is available at midlandisd.net/fallmeals. Students attending school on campus will get the free meals from the cafeteria at normal times.
National School Lunch Week was established in 1962 to promote the importance of a healthy school lunch, and the impact it has both inside and outside of the classroom.