HELENA — Starting Monday, the Helena School District is making changes to its “grab and go” meal distribution procedure.
The district will now be providing meals from seven locations – five schools and two business parking lots. They had previously used eight schools chosen as “regional” sites.
Superintendent Tyler Ream said the change in locations was needed to meet federal guidelines, particularly the number of students in an area who typically receive free or reduced-price meals.
In addition, the district will now deliver meals three days a week – but provide enough food for seven days.
“We can provide multi-day food packs – lunch and breakfast for two days – so that families aren’t having to leave the house every single day to access food,” said Ream. “Plus we’re able to add the Friday piece, which covers Saturday and Sunday.”
Here is the full new schedule for when and where meals will be delivered:
· Bryant Elementary: Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 11:45 a.m. to 1 p.m.
· Broadwater Elementary: Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 10 a.m. to 11:15 a.m.
· Central Elementary: Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 1:15 p.m. to 2 p.m.
· Four Georgians Elementary: Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 10 a.m. to 11:15 a.m.
· Warren Elementary: Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 11:45 a.m. to 1 p.m.
· Dollar Tree parking lot, 3085 N. Montana Ave.: Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 10 a.m. to 11:15 a.m.
· CVS parking lot, 603 N. Montana Ave.: Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 11:45 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Ream said the number of families using the meal service rose steadily through the first week that schools were closed, and it has been fairly steady since then. He said district leaders are pleased with how meal distributions have gone so far, but that they are always looking to make them better.
“This is all new for us, and it’s something that I am really proud of my colleagues and our partners at Sodexo and First Student for transportation – really kind of pivoting on the fly and shifting all of these services to a remote environment,” he said. “We’re going to continue to improve.”