Serving Gogebic, Iron and Ontonagon Counties

Ironwood changes meal distribution schedule


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Ironwood -- The Ironwood Area Schools is reducing the number of days it is distributing meals while classes remain cancelled in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Starting Monday, parents were able to pick up five days worth of lunches and breakfasts at the school for each child under 18 in their household, rather than receiving the week's worth of food over two distribution days.

Ironwood Superintendent Travis Powell said the change not only makes the process of distributing food easier, but reduces the number of interactions people have as the state seeks to limit the spread of the coronavirus.

"Ironwood Area Schools is pleased to be able to continue to provide meals for students in our community during this crisis. In order to increase efficiency and reduce person-to-person contact, we've moved to once weekly food distribution," Powell said.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer ordered all schools in Michigan to close until April 6 in an attempt to prevent the pandemic from spreading in the state, later extending the closure through April 13.

Powell previously expressed a desire to set up a distribution that can last for as long as needed.

"We're prepared for it to be longer, and so that process ... will go on until it's needed to be stopped," he told the district's board of education earlier this month.

Under the new system, parents will be able to obtain the food at the Luther L. Wright K-12 School's Pabst Street entrance between 9-10 a.m. every Monday. Parents are asked to enter via Pabst Street.

As the district is reimbursed per meal, rather than based on the number of students in the district - similar to the Ironwood's Meet Up and Eat Up summer lunch program - the free meals are available to anyone 18 and younger, regardless of whether they are students in the district.

Along with Ironwood, several other local districts are offering meals during the ordered closure. These districts include:

--The Bessemer Area School District is providing breakfasts and lunches for the week on Mondays and Thursdays from 9-10 a.m. through a drive-up system at Washington School's cafeteria. Families with students in the district should email [email protected] or contact the district to indicate the number of participating students.

--The Wakefield-Marenisco School District is offering bagged groceries every Monday at the school from 11 a.m. to noon.

--The Hurley School District is distributing meals each day at various locations in northern Iron County from approximately 11 a.m. to 12:50 p.m. Information on the delivery sites is available on the district's Facebook page.

--The Mercer school is delivering breakfast and lunch to students each day via school bus.

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