When Gov. Gretchen Whitmer mandated the closing of all public and private schools in Michigan beginning March 17, she acknowledged one of the many hardships the closings might place on families. This could mean the hundreds of thousands — if not, millions — of children dependent on school lunches, might be left without meals. “I am working with partners across state government to ensure educators, parents, and students have the support they need during this time, and to ensure our children who rely on school for meals have access to food,” she said in her March 13 announcement. In the coming days, metro Detroit school systems would announce ways in which they’d support students in need of meal programs through April 6 when classes are scheduled to resume. Here, ten school systems doing their part.
Ann Arbor Public Schools
Partnering with Chartwells Food Service, Durham Transportation Services, and the Ann Arbor Police Department, Ann Arbor Public Schools is providing bagged breakfast and lunches to individuals from 11 venues throughout the city. The service is available to anyone up to age 18 — age 26 for students with special needs. Deliveries are also available. A2schools.org for pick-up locations; M-F 12 p.m.-1:15 p.m.; M-F 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. for deliveries
Birmingham Public Schools
Offering deli sandwiches, salads, yogurt parfaits, and hummus, Detroit Public Schools are providing healthy meals for those in need. Choose between drive-through or bus-stop and parking lot pick-ups at one of three locations. Birmingham.k12.mi.us for locations; 10 a.m.-12 p.m. for drive-through services; 10 a.m.-11 a.m. for bus-stop and lot pick-ups.
Bloomfield Hills Schools
Beginning March 17, Bloomfield Hills Schools has joined forces with Aramark — the school’s food-service partner — to offer grab-and-go meals to all children under age 18 in the Detroit area. Staffers will distribute breakfast, including fruit, grains, and milk; and lunch including protein, grains, fruit, vegetables, and milk for those in need. The service is not limited to Bloomfield Hills Schools students. Bloomfield Hills High School, 4200 Andover Road, Bloomfield Hills; and East Hills Middle School, 2800 Kensington Road, Bloomfield Hills; 248-341-5672; bloomfield.org; M-F 10 a.m.-12 p.m.
Dearborn Public Schools
Through at least April 3, Dearborn Public Schools will offer breakfast and lunch meals to any Detroit-area resident at Fordson, Edsel Ford, and Dearborn high schools; as well as McCollough-Unis, Salina Intermediate, and Woodworth Middle School. The offering is intended to support students who rely on the school meal program for free or at reduced rates. “We realize this food is important to our families, many of whom may be facing additional financial hardships from the sudden economic changes related to COVID-19,” says Superintendent Glenn Maleyko in a press release. Dearbornschools.org for locations; M-F 10 a.m.-12 p.m.
Detroit Public Schools Community District
Beginning March 18, Detroit Public Schools Community District will offer grab-and-go breakfasts and lunches from 58 locations throughout Detroit and Highland Park. With schools closed until April 5, parents and students will not be allowed indoors and will be required to pick up meals outside of the facilities. Detroitk12.org for locations; Breakfast M-F 8 a.m.-10:30 a.m.; Lunch M-F 10:30 a.m.-1 p.m.
Grosse Pointe Public School System
Grosse Pointe Public School System is doing its part to ensure no child goes hungry when school is not in session. Two separate pickup times for breakfast and lunch will be arranged at the Defer Elementary School Gym and Poupard Elementary School lobby. Defer Elementary School, 15425 Kercheval Ave, Grosse Pointe Park; Poupard Elementary School, 20655 Lennon St., Harper Woods; mi01000971.schoolwires.net; Breakfast M-F 8 a.m.-10 a.m.; Lunch M-F 11 a.m.-1 p.m.
Hamtramck Public Schools
Unlike most school systems, Hamtramck Public Schools has assigned distribution centers according to the school the child is enrolled in. For example, if your child attends Horizon High School, the institution for meal pick-ups will be Hamtramck High School during designated hours. Visit the school system’s website to confirm locations and times for pick-ups. Hamtramckschools.com for locations; M-F 9 a.m.-12 p.m.
Oak Park Schools
To maintain social distancing regulations, Oak Park Schools’ Feed Our Kids program will distribute breakfast and lunch bags via curbside service at three locations. The program will also provide meals at school bus stops. Meals are for any metro Detroit residents 18 and under, and students do not need to accompany parents or adults coordinating pick-ups in order to qualify for meals. All are welcome. Oakparkschools.org for school locations and participating bus stops; M-F 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. for schools; M-F 11 a.m.-12 p.m. for bus stops
Royal Oak Schools
Another metro Detroit school system has coordinated free meals to anyone age 18 or under. Offering service directly to your car, organizers will provide breakfast and lunches for multiple days if needed. Royaloakschools.org for locations; M-F 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
Utica Community Schools
The Macomb County-based school system is offering drive-up and walk-up meal distribution at 14 sites. The meals, available at no charge, are intended for those 18 years old and under no matter what district the child or teen attends. Individuals up to 26 years old who are enrolled in programs meant for those with mental or physical disabilities also qualify for the meal programs. Both breakfast and lunch will be distributed. The school district will supply two days worth of meals two days a week, and three days worth of meals on Fridays. Uticak12.org for pickup locations; March 17-March 20, T, W, F 12 p.m.-1 p.m; March 23-April 3, M, W, F 12 p.m.-1 p.m.