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Parents can now pick up school meals without kids; service to continue during stay-at-home order

Parents can now pick up school meals without kids; service to continue during stay-at-home order

From the Schools are closed due to coronavirus. Here's how children and families are adjusting series
Riverside meals

Riverside Middle School principal Kevin Kirkman hands out meals to children who normally eat breakfast at the school Monday morning.

Kids no longer have to directly pick up school meals offered during COVID-19 school closures, according to a rule change by federal officials. 

Parents can now take meals without kids present. The changes apply to meal sites across Montana including 12 in Billings. 

The move from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration came after growing criticism from national anti-hunger advocates that the requirement for kids being present to pick up meals was a barrier for getting food to kids who need it most.

“I think that was one of the concerns that a lot of the families had,” said Sid Taylor, the general manager for Sodexo, the company Billings Public Schools contracts for food services. “This certainly will help the parents a lot.”

Meal service won't be affected by the stay-at-home order announced Thursday, Taylor said, including drop-off services for families in the district's homeless student program.  

Breakfast is offered from 7:45 a.m. to 9 a.m. and lunch from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the following Billings schools: Riverside, Lewis and Clark, Castle Rock, Medicine Crow, and Bench, plus the Boys and Girls Club Bair Family Clubhouse.

A district food trailer visits the following sites; McKinley, 9 a.m. to 9:30 a.m.; Washington, 9:45 a.m. to 10:15 a.m.; Newman, 10:30 a.m. to 11 a.m.; Ponderosa, 11:15 a.m. to  11:45 a.m.; Olympic Village Apartments, noon to 12:30 p.m.; Big Sky, 12:45 p.m. to 1:15 p.m.

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Education Reporter

Education reporter for the Billings Gazette.

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