The Cedar Rapids Community School District (CRCSD) is implementing a nutrition plan starting on Monday, March 23, Superintendent Noreen Bush said. Students will be able to pick up two free meals at eight schools around the city.
Students 18 years old or younger can pick up breakfast and lunch meals from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday to Friday. The pickup locations include Arthur, Grant, Grant Wood, Hoover, Wright, Taylor and Nixon Elementary Schools, as well as Roosevelt Middle School.
“First and foremost, basic needs being met for children is our top priority,” Bush said during a press conference Tuesday afternoon. CRCSD announced on Sunday they are following Gov. Kim Reynolds’ recommendation and will be closed for four weeks in response to COVID-19.
Bush mentioned that children do not have to attend the CRCSD in order to receive meals, but this might need to be accessed moving forward once there is a better indication of how many children can be served. The supply of meals is something that will be more clear in the next couple of days, she said.
Bush also shared that the CRCSD will have a page on its website with learning activities for all grade levels.
While the next four weeks do not count as instructional time and will not need to be made up, Bush said the district wants to “continue engaging children in learning opportunities.” Packets with the activities will also be available when children are picking up their meals.
Child care “continues to be a heavy question” for the community, Bush said. She shared that school districts were asked yesterday to complete a survey to find out how many students from preschool to sixth grade might have parents who are considered essential workers, which includes healthcare workers, emergency responders and public works employees.
“The question becomes, ‘If schools are closed because we want to limit social access, how do we open to support child care?’” Bush said.
“We are being provided guidance by the CDC, Department of Human Services and the Department of Education about how we can prioritize as we move forward to provide child care for those essential employees.”