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Eastpointe, Roseville school districts provide meals for children during closure

By: Brendan Losinski | Roseville - Eastpointe Eastsider | Published March 18, 2020

 Roseville Community Schools will be providing free meals to children during the school shutdowns caused by the COVID-19 outbreak. The district will offer them for pickup at Eastland Middle School or at designated pickup points delivered by bus.

Roseville Community Schools will be providing free meals to children during the school shutdowns caused by the COVID-19 outbreak. The district will offer them for pickup at Eastland Middle School or at designated pickup points delivered by bus.

Photo by Deb Jacques

 Eastpointe Community Schools will offer free meals to children while the schools are closed due to the mandated statewide school closings declared in response to the COVID-19 virus.

Eastpointe Community Schools will offer free meals to children while the schools are closed due to the mandated statewide school closings declared in response to the COVID-19 virus.

Photo by Deb Jacques

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EASTPOINTE/ROSEVILLE — Both Eastpointe Community Schools and Roseville Community Schools announced that families within their respective school districts can pick up grab-and-go meals for their children to ensure that students relying on the schools for meals will still be able to get them during the school closures resulting from the safety precautions related to the Covid-19 outbreak.

 

Eastpointe

Eastpointe’s food distribution program began March 16. Food will be distributed using a drive-thru and walk-up model on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Food amounts will be on a per child basis and will include breakfast and lunch meals. 

On Mondays and Wednesdays, the food distribution will include two days of grab-and-go meals, and on Fridays, three days of meals will be distributed. 

Eastpointe Superintendent Ryan McLeod said the food is open to the district’s students and children from outside the district.

“We delivered close to 850 meals on our first day of distribution on March 16,” said McLeod. “(Families) just pull into the parking lot into the drive-up loop, our food distribution team asks them in their vehicle how many students they are picking food up for, they tell us how many kids they have, and we run out that number of meals to them. We don’t take identification, and the students don’t need to be present.”

Eastpointe families will be able to pick up grab-and-go meals for their children from any Eastpointe school location. 

• The parking lot door off Semrau Avenue and Saxony Avenue at the Eastpointe Early Learning Center, located at 23750 David Ave. 

• Outside the front door in the bus loop at Crescentwood Elementary School, located at 14500 Crescentwood Ave.

• Outside the front door in the bus loop at Forest Park Elementary School, located at 18361 Forest Ave.

• Outside the front door in the bus loop at Bellview Elementary School, located at 15800 Bell Ave. 

• Outside the front door using the drop off area at Pleasantview Elementary School, located at 16501 Toepfer Drive. 

• In the parking lot by the cafeteria doors at Eastpointe Middle School, located at 24701 Kelly Road.

• And at door No. 4 off Couzens Avenue at Eastpointe High School, located at 15501 Couzens Ave.

Parents and guardians can pick up meals without children present, and meals can be picked up at any location, even if their child attends a different building. McLeod stressed how important a meal service like this can be for families.

“All of the students in our district receive free breakfast and free lunch, and we know many of our families rely on those free meals to fill out their nutritional needs,” he said. “This is an opportunity for us to make sure that while we are going through this mandatory closure, that we are still meeting those needs. I think this is especially important since some grocery stores are having trouble keeping certain things on their shelves right now.”

He added that food service is merely a small part of how school districts are trying to adjust to the statewide school closures.

“There are three essential responsibilities we are engaging with our staff about to figure out how to help our students,” said McLeod. “Food is one; continuing their education from home is another, and we are looking at how to keep them engaged with academic work; and our internal functions, such as paying bills, human resource needs for our staff and so forth.”

More information can be found at www.eastpointeschools.org.

 

Roseville

Roseville will be centering its food distribution at Eastland Middle School from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays during the closure; distribution began March 18. This distribution will be supplemented by two school bus routes that will deliver food at stops throughout the community, so people are not congregating in one single location.

“At Eastland Middle School, there will be an early morning drive-up that people can use to get food based on how many kids they have,” said Roseville Superintendent Mark Blaszkowski. “We also will have two buses go around the community and drop the food off at particular stops. It’s based on children between 0 and 18, or children who are in special education whose age range goes up to 26. We are going Monday, Wednesday and Friday with two-day packages on Monday and Wednesday, and three-day packages on Friday.”

The process will be simple and should minimize human contact to help prevent the spread of the virus.

“People won’t have to get out of their car at Eastland Middle School. Volunteers will walk up to their car,” he explained. “No credentials are needed. It’s a community feeding program. It’s not related to if they are a student or not; it’s made to feed families with children whether or not they are part of the district themselves. We’ve gotten a good response from our staff to volunteer to get this food out there. I’m very proud to see them stepping up.”

The first school bus route to distribute food will stop at Cornerstone Baptist Church at 17017 East 12 Mile Road at 10:30 a.m.; Fountain Elementary at 16850 Wellington Ave. at 10:40 a.m.; the corner of Maple St. and Lowell St. at 10:50 a.m.; Steenland Elementary at 16335 Chestnut St. at 11 a.m.; Kaiser Elementary at 16700 Wildwood St. at 11:10 a.m.; the corner of Clancy St. and Petrie St. at 11:20 a.m.; Dort Elementary at 16225 Dort St. at 11:30 a.m.; the corner of Church St. and Lawn St. at 11:40 a.m.; the Roseville Community Schools Administration  Building at 18975 Church St. at 11:50 a.m.; and Huron Park Elementary at 18530 Marquette St. at noon.

The second route will stop at the corner of Eastland Street and Galloway Street at 10:30 a.m.; Roseville High School at 17855 Common Road at 10:40 a.m.; Patton Elementary at 18851 McKinnon St. at 10:50 a.m.; the corner of Beaconsfield Street and Voiland Street at 11 a.m.; on Nardelli Lane at 11:10 a.m.; at the corner of Erin Street and Ellis Street at 11:20 a.m.; Kment Elementary at 20033 Washington St. at 11:30 a.m.; the corner of Melvin Street and Schram Street at 11:40 a.m.; and at the corner of Van Howe Street. and Meier Street at 11:50 a.m.

More information and updates can be found at www.rosevillepride.org

The goal with both methods of delivery will be to minimize contact so people do not spread the virus.

“Not having people need to get out of their car at the middle school will mitigate human contact,” said Blaszkowski. “The volunteer staff will be pretty small, which should help as well. Having so many stops on the bus routes should prevent too many assembling at the same place.”

Both districts said they are happy with how people are stepping up and adjusting to the unusual circumstances so far.

“Roseville Community Schools is proud to be part of the community, to be part of the solution and help people through this crisis,” Blaszkowski remarked. “As we begin the process, we will see if there’s anything we need to change to make the process better. We’ve posted on social media and our web page, and that’s where people can check for any updates.”

Schools across Michigan were ordered to close until Monday, April 6, by order of the governor in an effort to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

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