How schools are navigating meal logistics during pandemic
December 3, 2020
Feeding students can be a logistical challenge even under normal circumstances. As the coronavirus pandemic has forced schools to close or operate modified schedules, food service directors are running multiple programs to meet students' needs - curbside pickup, on-site meals in classrooms and gymnasiums and packaged items to take home for "off days" in a hybrid model.
At the Shenendehowa Central School District in Clifton Park, New York, once-bustling cafeterias only seat a fraction of the district's 10,000 students across 13 school buildings. Grades 7 to 12 are operating on a hybrid schedule, while K-6 students attend five days a week.
Once the source for preparation and distribution, the Shenendehowa Central cafeterias have transitioned to unconventional delivery methods. Food is dropped off outside elementary classroom doors. Multiple food stations are scattered throughout middle and high school buildings, limiting the number of students picking up food before returning to their desks to eat.