MANSFIELD -- Richland County school officials are developing a variety of plans to ensure students still have access to food they would receive on a normal school day during the hiatus triggered by the coronavirus crisis.
On Thursday, Gov. Mike DeWine ordered all schools -- kindergarten through grade 12 -- to suspend person-to-person interaction until April 3, effective at the end of the school day on Monday, March 16.
The governor said he was working with the federal agricultural department to ensure food would be available for students reliant on the free/reduced breakfasts and lunches at local schools.
"We know there are kids every day who rely exclusively on these food items," DeWine said Friday. "Every school is different and will have different procedures to make sure they can help those students."
The Ontario School District placed a link at the top of its website for parents to complete a form for their child to be delivered food items at their residence -- or pick up the food items at the school, said superintendent Lisa Carmichael. A letter about the plan was sent home with students Thursday at the end of the school day.
"We've already had 80 people sign up for it after it was put online at 10:30 this morning," she said.
The lunches are for students on the free/reduced lunches only.
Mansfield City Schools and the Madison Local School District are planning to announce their plans Monday.
"The district is developing a plan to distribute nutritionally balanced sack lunches to our students from a central location on weekdays during the closure, pending Ohio Department of Education approval," said Larry Gibbs, spokesman for the Mansfield School District. "We hope to have that approval early next week. When we do, details will be shared immediately."
Superintendent John Thomas at Madison said his team is drafting a plan, as well.
"We met this morning to start working on drafting a plan for our students on lunch plans," Thomas said. "I don't want to reveal too much because we have to have it approved by the Ohio Department of Education, so it could change completely."
A statement released by superintendent Janice Wyckoff announced Clear Fork Valley Local Schools will deliver meals to all families with students who qualify for free or reduced breakfast and lunch. These deliveries will be "drop and go" and occur several times a week. Families that do not wish to have meals delivered during the extended school closure can call 419-886-2601, ext. 2508.
Shelby City School District will provide lunches available for all current Shelby City Schools’ students, according to superintendent Tim Tarvin.
Lunches will be available for pick-up from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. at any building (Auburn, Dowds, Central Gym, Shelby Middle School, Shelby High School). Enrolled Shelby students must be present with the adult picking up the meal. Meals are available only for current Shelby students, not for extended family members.
Students’ names will be collected at the point of pick-up. Lunches will be packaged for take-out; no eating is permitted on site.
Lexington will provide student sack lunches starting Monday 11:30-12:30. Pick up at the High School cafeteria entrance. Dial 419-571-0962 for any questions.