GREEN BAY, Wis. (WFRV) — Amy Allen and her family are one of many who make the trip every weekday to Washington Middle School to pick up breakfast and lunch.
“Some days we walk and some days we drive,” she told Local 5 Tuesday, “because we’re within walking distance.”
The school district’s Summer Lunch Program just kicked off Monday, but many have already grown accustomed to picking up food after doing so during the months school was closed due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
The pandemic appears to have impacted how many people are in need of a lunch.
“Last summer on average we were serving just around 2,300 lunches per day,” Amanda Frisque Britanyak, Assistant Director of Food Service for the district said, “and this summer and right now we’re serving over 5,000 lunches per day.”
The increase in community participation in the program may also be due to changes made because of the pandemic.
“It’s totally different,” Frisque Britanyak described.
The changes were made because of social distancing restrictions.
Instead of providing a cold lunch for kids to eat on-site, families can now drive or walk up to receive hot meals, meant to be heated up at home.
“The variety of the food that they give out is amazing, and right now it’s all hot lunch so we go home and we bake it up and it’s good for the kids,” Allen said.
Tuesday’s menu included confetti pancakes for breakfast and a meatball sub for lunch.
“The ladies are so nice here,” Allen said of food service staff, “the people that give it out are so nice and the quality that they give us is really nice too.”
“People are really liking it because it connects them to their school community,” Frisque Britanyak added. “It’s really kind of a novelty, maybe, to be able to get out of the house as a little field trip for the day to go get their school lunch.”
It’s a novel experience, and a helping hand to families in the area.
“It helps us out tremendously for the groceries for the kids,” Allen said.
That help is available to anyone that needs it.
“Any child can come,” Frisque Britanyak said. “They don’t need to go to our schools or have a specific income or anything like that, it’s open for all and it’s free.”