Arkansas schools finding ways to feed students during campus closures

Coronavirus

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — As schools in four central Arkansas counties shutter over coronavirus concerns, staff are trying to find a way to keep kids from going hungry.

Many students rely on free and reduced lunches as well as breakfast served at school.

The Little Rock School District (LRSD) is opening buildings on Friday and all next week to provide a to-go lunch for kids. The meals can be picked up at every school from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

The district says it’s offering meal assistance to any child 18-years-old or younger, not just LRSD students.

“If they start coming it’s not going to be very many people at one time so that should be pretty safe,” said Mabelvale Middle School Principal Eric Henderson.

According to the district, 779 students took advantage of the program on Friday.

Starting Monday, the Bryant School District will serve free breakfast and lunch. The program is also open to every child 18-years-old or younger, they do not have to be district students.

Then there are teachers who are giving their time and money to help take care of students. That includes Bryant High School Choir Director Tanner Oglesby.

“They’re more than just names on a paper, they’re my kids,” Oglesby said. “They’re my kids. I’m going to help them in any way I can”

When Oglesby learned his school was closing, he rushed to get food packs to students.

“I have several students who I take food to them,” Oglesby said. “I had to try to come up with a rush situation to get them bags of food to take home.”

Oglesby is getting some supplies from a food pantry that’s run out of the high school, he says other items have been donated.

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