MANSFIELD -- Lunch was served a little early at Mansfield Senior High and Malabar Intermediate School on Wednesday.
It was the first day in which those registered for the free breakfast and lunch program at the Mansfield City Schools were able to collect food for students. The daily locations are running from noon to 1 p.m.
"This is very important," said Tyrone Lindsay, who drove his three grandchildren to pick up sack lunches and breakfast for tomorrow. "With three grandkids, this is a benefit for us."
Each pick-up location had 500 lunches and breakfasts prepared for students.
Marinise Harris, principal at Mansfield Senior, said the main goal was to give lunch and breakfast to every student in need.
"We understand this is a trying time, and we want to be able to accommodate all of these families," Harris said.
Harris said about 40 teachers volunteered to help at the distribution sites to pass out meals. Mansfield Police were also helping to send traffic through the pick-up line.
"It's a collaborative effort to make sure everyone is fed as they would be during a normal school day," the principal said.
Malabar Intermediate saw numbers comparable to the high school operation.
"It's been pretty steady really," said Andrea Moyer, director of school improvement, while directing volunteer aid to cars in line. "It's kind of a constant flow. Some cars have five kids; some have one."
Moyer stressed the importance of offering food during the school shutdown, noting 80 percent of the district's student body was registered for the free/reduced lunch and breakfast program.
"It's very important because 80 percent of our families rely on these meals every day," Moyer said.
Moyer said the district is looking to expand locations where families can collect their child's meals and that the district is looking into a need for serving families without access to cars.
"We have some teachers driving to homes so students can get food," Harris said.