Wyoming public schools distributes food to students in need

School sets up two distribution sites
Posted at 4:30 PM, Mar 16, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-16 17:53:00-04

WYOMING, Mich. — With schools around the state being closed due to Covid-19, school administrators have had to scramble to cover a number of concerns, including food for students in need. In Wyoming, dozens of teachers and volunteers have set up two sites to provide food for kids who need it.

"We're an 81-percent free and reduced lunch school district," Wyoming public schools superintendent Craig Hoeksta said, "Knowing that, we took that data and said, 'okay, we need to build a plan to best support our students when they aren't with us.'"

Feeding students during school closures

Wyoming public schools will have the two sites set up three days a week for the next three weeks.

"Even though we're not in class, today is a great opportunity to give back to our community," U.S. History teacher John Doyle added. "It's nice to see our kids one-on-one and just help out where we can."

Over 100 teachers are expected to help volunteer over the next three weeks.

"We've got a lot of produce goods, bananas, apples, cereal, granola bars," English teacher Peter VanGorp said, "and a lot of chocolate milk, so yeah, we're here all week."

The school will distribute every Monday, Wednesday and Friday at Wyoming junior high school and West Side elementary. With so many food pantries in our area overwhelmed, the community couldn't be more thankful for the district's help.

"I don't know what we would have done without the extra help," said Amber Harper, a mother of two in the district, "we're on state assistance and food stamps. With my kids home every day, it becomes the same struggle as the summer time."

Janice Payne, a single mother with three in the Wyoming district, also gave the volunteers and school system her thanks.

"For me, it's super helpful," she said, "I have a family of seven and as a single mom, this bit of help is going to get us through this crisis."

Superintendent Hoekstra also says the district will reaccess the food distribution process on Monday afternoon to see about delivering to bus stops or even student homes as soon as Wednesday.