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Grand Rapids Public Schools adding more meal sites for students ahead of virtual learning

Posted at 4:36 AM, Aug 18, 2020

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — While students in Grand Rapids Public Schools will start their year at home with remote learning, there are still many kids who won't have food to eat during their school day. That is why the district is offering meal sites to help those who need it.

GRPS has been doing food distribution since the pandemic started, but as the school year approaches, they will increase the number of their grab and go locations.

Jennifer Lanninga, GRPS nutrition services supervisor, said times have certainly changed for her and her nutrition services staff.

"Up until the pandemic. we'd always just served strictly in our cafeteria," Lanninga said. "During the summer months, there's been a lot of different food distribution programs running, however, most of them will be ending in the next week to two weeks. So, we want to make sure that we hit all areas so that families have access to healthy breakfast and lunch."

GRPS currently offers four meal distribution sites for students since COVID-19 began, but, with the school year just around the corner, the district will add 12 more locations.

All students at GRPS will have the opportunity to pick up the grab and go meals every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday 12-1:30 p.m.

"Each bag will contain to breakfast, always in a juice, a milk, a cereal or cereal bar, and a fruit item," Lannina explained. "And then lunch, we always serve all the components of a meal: we've got milk, a whole grain bread. proteins such as a turkey/cheese sandwich, fruits, and vegetables."

Lanninga says she can't wait to get back in the lunch room. "We are looking forward to being able to serve our students in person again and going back to the hot menu that the kids really enjoy."

Students will be remote learning for the first nine weeks of the year.

Grab and go locations include Alger, Buchanan, Burton, Campus, Cesar Chavez, City High, Dickinson, East Leonard, GR Ford, CA Frost High, Harrison, Kent Hills, Ottawa Hills, Sherwood, Sibley, and Westwood.