NORWALK, Conn. – School buses will be used to deliver free meals to most Norwalk Public Schools students now that the schools are closed due to the spread of COVID19.
On Thursday, NPS announced that it is closing the schools for at least two weeks as a proactive measure to protect students, staff and families, given the Norwalk Health Department’s opinion that it’s reasonable to expect the disease to spread to Norwalk. On Friday, NPS announced:
“To help support and feed families, beginning Monday, March 16, Norwalk Public Schools and Chartwells will provide free daily breakfast and lunch to all students age 18 and under. To help limit exposure and promote social distancing, meals will be delivered to a majority of students via school bus at bus stops.
“Starting Monday, a bus driver and a food service worker will stop at each regularly scheduled bus stop to deliver meals to students. The food service worker will exit the bus and hand a bag containing breakfast and lunch to each student at the stop. Buses will operate on a two-hour delayed schedule. Those who are interested in receiving meals should be at their bus stop two hours after their normally scheduled morning pick-up time. Meals will be delivered directly to special education students who receive door-to-door transportation.
“Walkers and any student age 18 and under can also pick up meals outside of the schools they attend. Pickup time will be anytime between 12:30pm to 1:30pm daily. There will be no food drop-off at Side By Side Charter School. Side By Side students are welcome to pick up meals at Columbus Magnet School.
“NPS asks families to be patient during the early days of food delivery and drop off as processes are being fine tuned. Students and their families are also reminded to practice social distancing as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control, standing 6-feet apart from others when possible. Families are urged to refrain from gathering after they have picked up food.
“School PTO and PTA groups have been working hard across the city to collect extra food supplies for those who need it. These items have been donated to local community organizations including Open Door and Person to Person.
“Questions about meal delivery times or site distribution should be directed to the NPS Transportation Office 203.854.4074 or Dining Services 203.854.4156.”
There is no cost to the meals, the press release said.
“The decision to close schools is never an easy one. But these are unprecedented times for our community and the country overall. The health of our students and staff, and in this case, our community, is the number one priority,” Norwalk Superintendent of Schools Steven Adamowski wrote Thursday. “… By working together, we can do our best to keep our community safe and healthy during these unusual circumstances. Please be sure to watch your email, the district website and social media pages (Facebook and Twitter), as well as the City of Norwalk website for official updates.”