Serving Gogebic, Iron and Ontonagon Counties

Ironwood school changes food distribution plans


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Ironwood - Now that the staff and volunteers had a couple weeks of experience with various food distribution events the district offers, the Ironwood Area Schools is making some changes to the schedule for the rest of the summer.

The biggest change comes to the dairy distribution, with Monday's distribution being the first held at the Aurora Club rather than the Luther L. Wright K-12 School.

As a nonprofit, the Aurora Club was able to host the dairy distribution and district officials said there were several reasons it became easier not to distribute the dairy at the school.

"It's still run through the school, but the Aurora Club offered to distribute it from there because they have so much space and it's not during (our lunch distributions)," said Mary Hampston Kusz, Ironwood's food service director. She explained that in the past there were some people who wound up in the line for lunches despite not having the kids needed to be eligible for that distribution.

Ironwood will continue to offer the Meet Up and Eat Up summer lunch program at the school from 10-11:30 a.m. on Mondays through Aug. 17. This program is open to any children 18 and under, and families don't have to attend the district.

"If you have kids that are visiting you for the summer, those kids can come here and eat," Hampston Kusz said.

The district has held the summer lunch program in Ironwood's Depot Park in the past, however, they had to transition to a distribution event rather than a gathering due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The dairy distributions will be held at the Aurora Club at 3 p.m. every other Monday, accord to Hampston Kusz, with the next distribution scheduled for July 13.

She said the district will also continue to distribute produce, along with some meat, every other Wednesday at 10 a.m. at the school. The next produce distribution is scheduled for July 8.

Although the summer lunches are limited to kids under 18, Hampston Kusz said the dairy and produce distributions are available to anyone in need.

She said the district is planning to prepare at least 500 lunches each week for the Meet Up and Eat Up program, but the dairy and vegetable distribution events will run until the available supplies are gone each day.

All three distributions are funded through federal programs, according to Hampston Kusz, with the dairy and vegetable distributions being part of the federal response to the coronavirus pandemic.