“Meals to You” program keeps food on the table for Ouachita Parish students

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OUACHITA PARISH, LA (04/06/20) The school day can mean more than a lesson for many students in Ouachita parish.

“In Ouachita Parish we average about 7,000 breakfasts served per day, and about 13,000 lunches per day. These are not adults, these are not visitors, these are just students” OPSB Director of Child Nutrition Services Jo Lynne Correro said.

With the extension of the stay-at-home order through the end of the month, students may be worrying about food insecurity.

The Ouachita Parish School Board is making sure meals stay on the table, thanks to the online Meals-to-You program.

It’s a collaboration between Baylor University and the U.S. Department of Agriculture, bringing meals right to your front door, with step-by-step instructions on how to sign up.

“They’ll have to validate their address with UPS, and then they fill out the form. It includes the children that are going to school and their siblings” she said.

This program will bring meals to students at 21 Community Eligible schools, as well as students at other schools who qualify for free or reduced lunches.

“It’s all shelf stable, some of it’s just cereal for breakfast, breakfast foods and they have a lunch and they can heat it up if it needs to be heated or refrigerated if they want it cold, it depends on what the meal order is” she said.

But they’re not stopping there, they’re also considering those who have recently lost employment due to the virus.

“When they apply for snap benefits, they automatically qualify for free meals and would qualify for this program” she said.

The deadline to apply for this program is this Friday, April 10th. You can find the link to the program on the Ouachita Parish School Board’s website, which can be found by clicking here. From there, search “Meals to You”, and the step-by-step instructions will pop up. The only things you need are your address and your student’s 7 digit ID number.

Correro also wants parents to know that the program is not getting paid by this program or reimbursed for the meals provided. The money goes to the company making the meal, as opposed to the school board or the co-creators of the program.

“I could beg my people to get out there and work so that we can get the money but that’s not where my priority is. I’m doing this because for the safety of my staff. We’ll get past this hump” she said.

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