Meals to be delivered by bus to Norwalk students during shutdown
NORWALK — During a two-week shutdown of Norwalk Public Schools in response to coronavirus concerns, meals will be delivered by bus to all students under the age of 18.
The district announced Friday that beginning March 16, bus drivers and food service workers will deliver breakfast and lunch at each regularly scheduled bus stop, on a two-hour delay schedule.
“Those who are interested in receiving meals should be at their bus stop two hours after their normally scheduled morning pickup time,” the release states.
The food service worker will exit the bus and hand bags containing breakfast and lunch to all students gathered at the stops. Meals will be delivered directly to special education students who receive door-to-door transportation, according to the release.
Meals will also be available for students who walk to school, or anything other Norwalk student at the schools they attend, between 12:30 and 1:30 p.m. daily. Drop-off will not be available at Side By Side Charter School, but those students can pick up meals at Columbus Magnet School.
“NPS asks families to be patient during the early days of food delivery and drop-off as processes are being fine tuned,” the release states. “Students and their families are also reminded to practice social distancing as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control, standing 6 feet apart from others when possible. Families are urged to refrain from gathering after they have picked up food.”
Volunteers have also worked to collect non-perishable food and other items, which has been donated to pantries at the Open Door Shelter and Person to Person.
“The term ‘safety net’ truly has a deeper meaning at this time, and we’re grateful to our community as they come together to ensure that our neighbors will have food, shelter, and the crucial resources they need,” Open Doors Executive Director Michele Conderino said Friday.
Erin McDonough, director of community relations and marketing at Open Doors, said there has been a small but steady increase in the need for food. The expectation is that need will continue to grow as people are potentially out of work and lose wages.
The shelter is halting certain programs — like the community closet — to manage risk and feed people in need. The shelter has seen a “dramatic and immediate increase” in the amount of food and funds donated.
McDonough said parent-led food drives have helped stock the pantry’s shelves. Restaurants and food-based businesses have also organized donations of hot food.
Still, financial donations are needed.
“Right now, the biggest need is for financial support,” McDonough said. “Even small financial donations make a big difference when they’re added together.”
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