ELKHART — Elkhart Community Schools is adding more food distribution sites for its “grab-and-go” meals for children to meet a growing demand.
Free meals are available for all children 18 or younger on Mondays and Wednesdays through May 1.
Starting Monday, the district will add four more additional locations to its program while schools are closed amid the coronavirus outbreak. Those locations include Mary Daly, Mary Feeser, Monger and Pinewood elementary schools.
Meals will continue to be served at Beardsley Elementary, Bristol Elementary, Roosevelt STEAM Academy and Woodland Elementary.
Each student will receive a package with three breakfasts and three lunches on Mondays and two breakfasts and two lunches on Wednesdays.
According to Pam Melcher, director of food services for the district, the food service served 489 students meals Wednesday and decided afterward to expand from four locations to eight to reach more students in need.
“We will continue to monitor and add additional sites as needed,” she said.
The meals will be provided by staff members outside the school in a drive-up (or walk-up) format. Students must be present to pick up the meals; parents do not need to be present. Parents cannot pick up breakfasts/lunches without the child present.
The meals must be taken and consumed off school property. Students will not be permitted to consume them inside or at school.
To enhance Wi-Fi accessibility, the school corporation has also put measures in place to extend the Wi-Fi reach at the following school buildings: Beardsley, Bristol, Hawthorne, Mary Beck, Mary Daly, Monger, Roosevelt and Woodland elementary schools.
Students within 200 to 300 feet of the front entrance of these buildings should be able to access the ECS Wireless network, according to school officials. ECS student devices will automatically connect to the network when they are within reach.
Both Elkhart Central and Elkhart Memorial high schools’ signals also reach outside of their buildings. The district has also added Wi-Fi around the water tower at Benham and LaSalle. These extended signals are available 24 hours a day. Additional sites will be added next week, the corporation said.