QUINCY — Giving kids something to count on is one mission of the Quincy Public Schools summer meals program.
Beginning June 7, grab-and-go meals will be available at Quincy High School at 3322 Maine, Quincy Christian School at 1236 N. 10th and Blessed Sacrament School at 1115 S. Seventh.
Meals are provided at no cost to kids ages 1 to 18.
“During the school year they count on those meals. They still count on those meals in the summer as well,” QPS Food Service Director Jean Kinder said. “We try to get as many meals out to kids as possible.”
Some program details still need to be finalized, and “we may tweak things a little, but it will be very similar to what we did last year,” Kinder said.
“One blessing of COVID is we were able to make wonderful partnerships with Blessed Sacrament and Quincy Christian to get to those areas of town and serve even though we don’t have schools at the locations,” she said. “We’re grateful to partner with them to be able to provide those meals.”
The U.S. Department of Agriculture extended waivers providing safe meal distribution sites to serve all children for free, regardless of income, outside of the required group settings and meal times and to allow parents and guardians to pick up meals for children through summer 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Kinder said QPS also is looking at a way to certify people picking up meals to make sure they have children.
“It was few and far between, but we did have circumstances of people not getting meals for kids,” Kinder said. “We want to make sure they go to who needs them, to make sure that we’re serving kids.”
In the meantime, Kinder said free meals continue to be available for remote learners.
Families can pick up breakfasts and lunches at QHS each Tuesday to cover Wednesday and Thursday and each Thursday for Friday, Monday and Tuesday.
Meals are prepared, then frozen in microwave-safe dishes. “They’re easy for kids to make on their own if they need to,” Kinder said.
QPS initially was serving 200 meals per day to remote learners, but that number has dwindled to 50 meals a day.
“That’s good news,” Kinder said. “It means more kids are back in the classroom.”
Families need to sign up for the remote learner meals online in Skyward Family Access at qps.org. A sign-up form must be completed for each student.