MUSKEGON COUNTY, Mich. — School districts around the state are closed for the next three weeks, but that isn't stopping efforts to get meals to students.

In Muskegon Heights, meals will be dropped off to students and parents at 42 regular bus stops on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

School age children do not need to be students in the Muskegon Heights Public School Academy System to receive a sack lunch or breakfast bag, and all of the district's students are eligible for free meals. 

"We immediately started preparing for this," said Muskegon Heights Middle and High School Principal Eddis Jones. "We're concerned about them eating even though we're closed down."

Early Monday morning, school staff packed 1,000 lunches and 1,000 breakfast bags. Four school buses were deployed with district employees to distribute the lunches. Bus drivers honked at each distribution point to signify a stop. 

"We have some great folks that work with us and for us and they are excited about taking on this challenge and to again make sure that our students are able to have lunches and breakfast for those who would like them," Jones said.

Muskegon Heights parent Jennifer Stone received a call from the district so she could be ready to pick up meals for her two children.

The meals included fruit, cereal, milk, a sandwich, vegetables and snacks.

"Schools are shut down, but this is cool how they're delivering lunch and everything," Stone said. "It's awesome."

Jones said school staff are also using the food distribution as a new opportunity to talk with students about staying safe.

"We want them to remember to wash their hands, to stay positive," Jones said. "This will eventually pass and we'll be looking to see them back in school as soon as possible."

The Muskegon Area Intermediate School District provided the following information on free meal distributions other school districts in Muskegon and Oceana Counties are offering:

The free meals will consist of cold items like yogurt cups, string cheese, cereal, muffins, deli sandwiches/wraps with fresh fruit/vegetable and milk. Not all items will be included in every meal.

These meals are available throughout the school shutdown ordered by the Governor to all children ages 18 and under and students with disabilities ages 18 to 26 with an active IEP (Individualized Education Program) who either reside in or attend the district. Kids Food Basket is also compiling distribution information and will share on their website.  

Fruitport Community Schools will be providing weekly meal service starting tomorrow and have posted information to their website and to their Facebook site. They are asking all parents to complete a survey on their website to help them better meet needs.

Hart Public Schools will be offering free meals for children today through Wednesday, March 18, at noon, at Crystal Valley Pour House located at 7203 N 126th Avenue in Hart and Fenton Trucking located at 5655 W 5th Street in Mears. For more information email Caryn Elam via email at celam@hart.k12.mi.us.

Holton Public Schools will work closely with Hand-to-Hand community partners to provide weekly meal service drive-through service or delivery. See the district's website and their Facebook site for details.

Mona Shores Public Schools will provide “grab and go” meals for all students at its high school stadium parking lot from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. They will offer an additional pick up time from 5 p.m. - 6 p.m. on Wednesdays. The Norton Shores Police Department will be assisting with deliveries. See their website for updates 

Montague Area Public Schools will provide meals through curbside pickup at Montague High School and the Rothbury Village Hall at 7804 S. Michigan Avenue in Rothbury on Tuesdays and Fridays from 10 a.m. – noon. In addition, a mobile route has been set up for delivery to three additional sites. See the Facebook page for details.

Muskegon Public Schools will be delivering meals along the bus route starting at 11 a.m. Monday, March 16. The plan is to follow the usual bus route and to add stops for students who typically walk to school. The route will run once per day, but will drop off the equivalent of two meals, as well as needed school supplies and worksheets. The bus route can be found on the Muskegon Public Schools Facebook page and on their website. 

Muskegon Heights Public School Academy System will be providing free meals starting at 11:30 a.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays along its usual bus route. Two days of meals will be delivered except on Friday which will increase to three days of meals for the weekend. All pickups will be at the 42 bus stops with the exception of door-to-door service for special needs students. The full schedule will be on the Muskegon Heights Tigers Facebook page.

Children who live in North Muskegon Public Schools may access nearby districts for grab-n-go meals.

Food deliveries for Oakridge Public Schools students are expected to begin Wednesday, March 18, and locations will be posted to the Oakridge Public Schools Facebook page. Six locations and times will be announced by the end of the business day today.

Beginning Tuesday, March 17, 2020, Orchard View Schools will be delivering food throughout the district for family pick up. Times, locations, etc. will be made available on their Facebook page today.

Ravenna Public Schools will be announcing their meal distribution plans by tomorrow through the district’s Facebook page.

Reeths-Puffer Schools will provide a week’s worth of cold meals for pickup at the High School every Wednesday, beginning on March 18. Pick-ups will take place according to student last names. Those starting with A-N will pick-up between 9-10 a.m., and O-Z names will pick up between 11 a.m. to noon. Additional pick-ups may take place between noon and 1 p.m. See FAQ’s on their website. 

Shelby Public Schools is offering five different locations for meal pick up. See their Facebook site for information and who to contact for delivery.

Walkerville Public Schools will begin providing meals on Tuesday, March 17 from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at the Main Street delivery entrance daily. Contact the school’s main office to request delivery or send a private message through Facebook.

Whitehall District Schools will be providing meals on Tuesdays and Fridays from 10:00 a.m. to noon at Whitehall Middle School, and at the Lakewood Club Village Hall from 10 a.m. to noon on Tuesdays and Fridays. Updates provided at their Facebook site.

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