Hopkins Schools nutrition department staff members distributed meals Monday and Tuesday in the Eisenhower Elementary parking lot at 1001 Highway 7 in Hopkins. Parents could get sack lunches and breakfast for the next day, according to a Facebook post. 

Meals for children were free. If parents wanted a meal for themselves they could purchase it for $4 in cash, with exact change. Children didn’t need to be present to receive meals and there was no pre-order necessary.

The staff members on the truck gave out around 130 packaged lunches Monday, Christa McKibben, the school nutrition clerk said.

“We think it’ll be higher today,” she said Tuesday.

At around 11:30 a.m. Tuesday, 88 lunches were already served, said Dennise Selvestre, a kitchen staff member.

The number of parents driving up to the food truck was “more consistent today,” McKibben said.

During the state mandated school closure, the district's nutrition and transportation departments are teaming up to provide free meals to students. Parents and students can pick up these meals at the elementary schools and also along several bus routes.

From Wednesday, March 18, to Friday, April 3, parents can visit any of the six elementary schools in the district from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. The bagged meal option will include a lunch and next-day breakfast. This is a pick-up location only. Students will not be able to eat meals inside school per the guidelines provided by the CDC and the Minnesota Department of Health regarding social distancing. Students may pick up meals on their own and parents may pick up meals for their children.

The district transportation department will route school buses to reach students that would otherwise be unable to walk to an elementary school. Parents are advised to watch for a follow-up communication with meal pick-up times and locations. The goal is to reach more than 2,400 students through the school bus meal drop offs.

The temporary free meals for all students will end once distance learning begins on Monday, April 6.

As legislation evolves and adapts to the COVID-19 impact, district officials will provide information about potential fee-based student meal service during distance learning. If parent/guardian employment status or financial situation has been impacted by COVID-19, they strongly encourage applying for meal benefits. Parents can apply online. If parents are already participating in the free and reduced lunch program, they do not need to re-apply. This information may change and district officials will keep parents informed.

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