Carman-Ainsworth schools offering “grab and go” meals

Lisbeth Gatica (left), a Carman-Ainsworth employee hands out meals for the children of Melissa Edmiston who attend Dye Elementary. Photo by Paula K. Schmidt

Lisbeth Gatica (left), a Carman-Ainsworth employee hands out meals for the children of Melissa Edmiston who attend Dye Elementary. Photo by Paula K. Schmidt

FLINT TWP. — With the announcement last week by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer that all K-12 schools in Michigan will be closed through April 5, Carman-Ainsworth Community Schools are providing free “grab and go” breakfast and lunch meals for all students during the state-ordered shutdown.

Beginning March 17, look for Carman- Ainsworth School Buses parked in the following locations, Monday through Friday, March 17—March 27, at the times indicated:

11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Crystal Lake Apartments, 7350 Crystal Lake Dr., Swartz Creek (Club House) Economy Motel, G-4186 Corunna Rd., Flint Greenbrier Mobile Home Park, 4070 Green Briar Blvd., Burton (Office/Club House) Kings Lane Apartments, 4400 Kings Ln., Burton Randels Elementary, 6022 Brobeck St., Flint River Forest/River Hollow, 3500 Rue Foret, Flint Villa Mobile Home Park, 3096 Camelot Drive, Flint (Club House) Westwood Village Mobile Home Park, 3365 W. Pasadena Ave., Flint, MI 48504

12:45-2 p.m. Carman-Ainsworth High School, 1300 N. Linden Rd., Flint

Carman-Ainsworth Middle School, 1409 W. Maple Ave. Central Church of Nazarene, 1261 W. Bristol Rd., Flint Clovertree Apartments, 3270 Clovertree Ln., Flint Fisherman’s Cove, 4441 Jena Lane, Flint (front of Club House) Rankin Elementary School, G-3499 Mundy Ave., Swartz Creek Sunridge Apartments, 3348 Flushing Rd., Flint (front of Club House) Woodland/Atlantis, G-3493 Beveridge Rd.

5-6:30 p.m. Also at Carman-Ainsworth Middle School, books will also be available for students to select from daily and they may keep them as their own.

Whitmer’s announcement to close Michigan K-12 schools through April 5 has prompted action by the Food Bank Council of Michigan and its seven regional food banks.

Intended to mitigate the spread of the COVID-19 virus, the closure means that at least 897,037 children in Michigan will not have meals for at least the next three weeks. Students typically receive at least breakfast and lunch at school through the free and reduced meal program.

Coupling the demand for more food is a shortage of food bank volunteers. Safety protocols, such as staying at home and social distancing, has impacted the number of volunteers for packing and distributing food.

“Our immediate needs are startup funding and volunteers,” said Phil Knight, executive director of the Food Bank Council of Michigan. “Our seven regional food banks are excellent at meeting the daily needs of our residents and families facing food insecurity. The issues surrounding the COVID-19 virus, however, substantially impact our ability to feed nearly a million more children and others during this national pandemic.”

The Food Bank Council is working with the Michigan Department of Education to apply for waivers to activate the Summer Feeding program. If awarded, the program will help cover the costs of feeding hungry children while school is closed.

Currently, the Food Bank Council plan for food distribution to families with school-age children is:

Michigan’s seven regional food banks to package the food into boxes

Work with school partners to determine the appropriate time for distribution

Schools to communicate the time and location for food pickup to their communities

Food bank trucks will be on location to help distribute meal boxes that follow the same nutritional value of USDA requirements

“This process helps ensure adherence to safety protocols, keeping everyone involved safe and helping meet the need of our hungry students,” said Knight.

To donate or volunteer, call the Food Bank Council of Michigan at 517-485- 1202 or visit G.G.