The Shafter Press - Serving the community since 1922

By Jamie Stewart
The Shafter Press 

School staffs try to keep students well-fed


Jamie Stewart | The Shafter Press

This location gives out 1,100 meals per day.

Mason Hollingsworth and his staff have been busy helping keep the children of Shafter equipped with a nutritious lunch and breakfast during the mandated school closures due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

A number of the children in Shafter depend on the schools for lunch during the normal school year, so one of the first questions asked when the closures were announced was "What about the students who need our lunch and breakfast service to survive?"

This question was answered in short order when it was announced that the food programs would continue through the closures. Monday through Friday, for 90 minutes, the cafeteria staffs at the various schools in Shafter are at work doling out a lunch and a breakfast for each child.

According to Angie Armstrong, lead cafeteria worker at Redwood Elementary and Richland Junior High, they have been giving out 1,100 meals a day.

Jamie Stewart | The Shafter Press

Ruth Loza and Lizbeth Ayala are masked up, ready to give out meals.

This service started on March 19 and is continuing until Friday, April 3. They will not be providing the service during the schools' normal Easter break. If needed, the service will begin again on April 14, if schools are not back in session by then.

"We have been working really hard, but it is worth it knowing that our kids are getting fed," Armstrong said.

On Tuesday, the menu was a pizza, mixed berry dessert cup, a milk and a juice. The breakfast consisted of a cinnamon cream cheese bagel, juice and milk.

Armstrong also said that their students with special diets are still getting the same special service as when school is in session. "They will call and let us know when they will be there, and I will get their meals together."

With the likelihood of schools not going into session after the spring break, the food service programs may be a mainstay for the rest of the year.


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