With the implementation of remote learning until May 4, districts including SAU 21 have been tasked with feeding hundreds of students who rely on school lunch. The meals being served contain two days worth of breakfast and lunch and are available to all students whether or not they qualify for free or reduced lunch.
“Meals are available to all students in SAU 21,” said Winnacunnet Chef Ed Comeau. “Meal pickup at Winnacunnet will be on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. If you are unable to drive to the high school, arrangements have been made for delivery of the meals.”
An anonymous junior picked up a school lunch during the first round of lunch pickups. They said their experience was overwhelmingly positive.
“There were people outside to greet you outside the cafeteria, we went day one, so at that time my dad got out of the car to help them but now I think it’s more like a drive-thru pick up and you stay in your car,” they said. “It was very well done and impressive.”
The Winnacunnet Dining Hall staff, along with administration, came up with a plan when remote learning was first implemented in order to ensure that these students were fed.
“Meals that are being served are similar to the deli meal and breakfast served in the dining hall,” Comeau said. “They are reflective of meal plans set forth by the National School Lunch Program.”
The junior who got the lunches said they enjoyed the meals that were included in the lunch.
“We got two days worth of breakfasts and lunches,” they said. “Breakfast included a breakfast bar, apple juice, and an orange, lunch is a premade sandwich with either turkey or ham, a prepared veggie platter, a bag of chips, an apple, and orange juice or chocolate milk.” Comeau also said that special precautions are being taken to ensure the safety of kitchen workers and those picking up the lunches. The lunches are picked up in a drive-thru format to ensure proper social distancing.
“The kitchen has also been professionally sanitized and is at the beginning and end of each day,” Comeau said.
According to Comeau, initial challenges in the process have largely been worked out.
“When all of this first started there was a lot of info being released. Trying to keep up with and process the info was a challenge,” Comeau said. “We seem to be on track now and continue to serve meals and are ready for any challenges.” Any students who would like to request a meal can email their guidance counselor or social worker, or call 603-926-8992 extension 101.