School district consolidates food prep, expands locations for ‘grab-and-go’ meals

Mountlake Terrace High School food service workers Christi Thrasher and Sun Morgan (left to right, facing camera) pass out “grab-and-go” meals to a family during a recent distribution time at the high school. (Photos by Doug Petrowski)

Now in its second week, the Edmonds School District’s current distribution of “grab-and-go” meals to children and youth continues to evolve with a consolidation of meal preparation sites and the addition of more distribution locations.

The district is passing out free breakfasts and lunches to 1- through 18-year-olds while schools are closed during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Meals for the program are being prepared at the kitchen facilities of Mountlake Terrace, Lynnwood and Meadowdale High Schools, then transported to 26 distribution sites around the school district.

The fourth large-scale kitchen in the district, located at Edmonds-Woodway High School, is not being used for meal preparations but could be if the need arises, district spokesperson Harmony Weinberg said.

“There are no health concerns at Edmonds-Woodway High School that is currently closed; we simply are trying to stay out of facilities that do not need to be in use, so we have clean, unoccupied spaces should we need them in the future,” said Weinberg.

After meals are prepared and bagged, school district personnel in teams of two then transport prepared meals to distribution sites on district buses.

A school district worker loads “grab-and-go” meals onto a waiting bus at Mountlake Terrace High School. The meals were then transported to one of 26 distribution sites in the district.

Each child or teen that comes to a distribution site receives a prepared lunch and a prepared breakfast for the next day. An average of 2,600 meals are being distributed to about 1,300 children and youth each day throughout the district.

“Before COVID-19, on a typical school day we’re (serving) about 6,500 lunches and 3,000 breakfasts compared to now we’re (serving) about 1,300 lunches and 1,300 breakfasts,” Weinberg said.

Five distribution sites have been added to the program since its start on March 16. The new sites are:

— Whispering Pines Apartments, 9:45 – 10 a.m. (18201-52nd Ave. W., Lynnwood)

— Village Apartments, 10:45 – 11 a.m. (8201-244th St. S.W., Edmonds)

— Somerset Village Apartments, 10:45 – 11 a.m. (19703-68th Ave.W., Lynnwood)

— Terrace Park Elementary, 11:00 – 11:30 a.m. (5409-228th St. S.W., Mountlake Terrace)

— ‘A’ Cappella Apartments, Noon – 12:15 p.m. (15001-35th Ave. W., Lynnwood)

For a full list of the Grab-and-Go meal distribution sites and additional information about the program, go to the Edmonds School District website.

— By Doug Petrowski

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