School district offers students breakfast and lunch

Heather Kauk
Parents drive through the high school parking lot during meal pickup provided by USD 368 for breakfast and lunch for children ages 1-18 on April 2. Food service workers enjoyed helping families in need and seeing familiar faces again, said Rita Wobker, food service worker.

Abi Shore, Reporter

Bill Rosich, food service director, and the rest of the food staff spent their spring break frustrated and stressed as they tried to develop a plan to feed the families in the school district who rely on free breakfast and lunch from school.
No one in the food administration was expecting such urgency, due to COVID-19. “Before we left for Spring Break, the coronavirus was still something ‘that was happening in other places.’ But during spring break all of that changed,” Rosich said.
On March 19, there was an emergency cabinet meeting, where it was announced that schools would be shut down, students would switch to online learning and food services would implement a sack breakfast and lunch plan.
On top of changing the lunch menu, USDA and KSDE were changing regulations, adding to the stress, Rosich said.
Every member of the foodservice staff works two days of the week. The production team assembles sandwiches and portions fruits, veggies and breakfast foods. The distribution team hands out meals to children and parents.
Rita Wobker, food service staff, said she especially enjoys distributing.
“Today I got to be on distribution, which was just an awesome experience for me because I got to see former students. I got to see present students, I got to see future students and so it was a really rewarding day for me just being able to connect with the people in the community,” she said.
Another reason they enjoy helping the community is the emotional connection they have with the recipients of meals.
“It has been a humbling experience, to say the least. We realize there is a great need for these meals and that many of the students and children rely on them daily,” Wobker said.

Q&A with Dena Bronson, food service employee
Q: How is this being set up?
A: USD 368 is providing a drive-through pick up for free lunches/ breakfasts Monday- Friday from 11-1 p.m. each day.

Q; What are some things the children and students can expect in their meals?
A; Breakfasts consist of cereals, breakfast bars, strawberry bagels, muffins, and includes both milk and juice.

Q; Is the foodservice being cautious about the spread of germs?
A; We realize families may be nervous and worried about possibly contacting the COVID-19 virus, along with other issues. Our staff has taken every precaution to protect ourselves and those of the families who come through for these meals.