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Free Meal Service Program For Columbus Children Now Open At 14 Sites

March 16, 2020 -- In response to the spread of the coronavirus, also known as COVID-19, across the United States, schools in Ohio will be closed for the next three weeks.

The extended school closure began Monday, March 16. In an attempt to help Columbus City Schools families, the District has begun offering free meals to all children in Columbus 18 years old and younger.

“This is an unprecedented time with what schools are going through right now, being closed across the United States,” said Scott Wortman, Chief of Communications for Columbus City Schools. “We realize we need to offer educational options, but also the basic needs that many of our families rely on the schools to provide.”

Columbus City Schools is providing free breakfast and lunch, Monday through Friday, now until April 3rd.

14 meal sites are now open across the city:

  • East High School

  • Linden-McKinley STEM Academy

  • South 7-12

  • Buckeye Middle School

  • Independence High School

  • Columbus Africentric Early College

  • Sherwood Middle School

  • Centennial High School

  • Columbus Global Academy

  • Mifflin High School

  • Woodward Park Middle School

  • West High School

  • Starling PreK-8

  • Wedgewood Middle School

Breakfast will be served between 8:00AM - 9:00AM. Lunch will be served between 11:00 AM - 1:00PM.

Kids must be in attendance to pick up food, in accordance with the USDA guidelines.

“There is minimal time spent in the building, and minimal exposure to crowds. Our food services staff is doing a great job to coordinate that along with our safety and security officers who are here to help as well,” said Wortman.

The meals are pre-packaged and will be grab-and-go style. Food Service staff members list the meal options for the day; students will then receive their meal in a bag or a box.

The meals vary from breakfast options, such as muffins, yogurt, bagels, cereal bars, fruit cups, apples, oranges, and milk. Lunch also contains a variety, including chef salad, pizza, burgers, chicken sandwiches or sub and egg salad sandwiches.

Kids will also be able to pick up lunch at breakfast, or pick up the next day's breakfast at lunch.

“We’re not going to turn anybody away. We are going to take it as it comes and figure this out day-by-day, and take care of families however we can,” said Wortman.

Stay up to date on the coronavirus on the website, where we continue to add resources and post updates as we learn more.