MPS implements program providing meals and resources to students

Emilia McLeod, Reporter

In average day-to-day life in the Monroe Public School District, free breakfast and lunch are offered to students in each school, along with their own Chromebooks for at-home work. So, when the outbreak of the Coronavirus caused the schools to close starting Monday, March 16, there was one thing on many families’ minds: Where would their children’s meals come from? And, how would they do any at-home work assigned without the necessary technology?

On Saturday, March 14, Superintendent Julie Everly released a letter to families explaining what Monroe Public Schools would do to account for these services. She explained that buses would be sent around with the food that their students would get on a normal school day.

“Beginning Monday morning, our school buses will be making stops throughout the district, each morning, Monday through Friday, to drop off breakfast and lunch boxes,” Everly wrote. “Any child, or any adult representing children, may pick up the meals. You do not need to sign up ahead of time, and no ID is required. On Fridays, additional food will be distributed to provide weekend meals,” Everly stated.

Everly also addressed the technology concerns, as many were worried that their students would not be able to complete assigned work, falling behind as a result. She explained that the aforementioned buses would also contain necessary Chromebook resources, and also that internet connection can be arranged for those in need.

“In addition to food, the buses will be stocked with school supplies and extra charging cords that can be provided for those who need them. If your child’s Chromebook malfunctions, you will be able to send it on the bus with a repair slip to our technology staff,” Everly wrote. “If you do not have internet access, please contact Technology at 734-265-3150 for assistance. Local provider, Comcast, is also partnering with us to provide free internet for 60 days for those without service.”

In a letter released on March 19, Everly reported that over 10,000 meals were distributed in the first week, making the program highly successful. Also in the letter, Everly puts the attention back on the hard workers that made it all happen and expresses their willingness to do so.

The Monroe News shared that our staff prepared and distributed nearly 1,800 meals on the first day of the state-mandated closure. Since Monday, the response has steadily grown – almost 2,400 meals on Tuesday, over 2,800 meals on Wednesday, and 3,100 meals today. I am so proud of the efforts and collaboration of our Food Service and Transportation staff. There is a lot of planning and work involved, but the smiling faces at stops throughout our district are priceless,“ Everly wrote.