KCPS Feeds Thousands of Children Throughout Pandemic

Student meal distribution continues during the week of April 6

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Kansas City, April 3, 2020:  Thousands of children are being nourished thanks to the commitment to public service in Kansas City Public Schools.

KCPS has served more than 65,000 breakfasts and lunches free of charge for students since the start of the state of emergency and school closures prompted by the COVID-19 pandemic. This impressive data was provided as part of an update from Child Nutrition Services Director Jordan Gordon. It’s the result of a massive combined effort by Team KCPS, including school principals and support staff and staff members in Child Nutrition Services, IT, Custodial Services and Maintenance and Operations.

The heart of this revolved around Paseo Academy of Fine and Performing Arts, where administrators and support staff from across the school system gathered to prepare, bag and distribute the student meals. Paseo Academy was chosen because of its large kitchen facility and the fact that bagging could be done in both the Paseo Academy cafeteria and the adjoining cafeteria at Martin Luther King, Jr. Elementary School. At their peak production, the staff members were preparing 1,000 nutritious and shelf-stable meals per hour.

“Food is a vitally important part of everything we are doing in KCPS to help our children thrive during this situation,” Gordon said. “Very quickly, we were able to put an all-inclusive, multi-layered operation in place to ensure that we have enough food produced, packaged and safely delivered to our distribution sites for the families in our community.”

Superintendent Mark Bedell and his leadership team made a decision shortly after the national emergency was declared to take extraordinary measures to provide meals for students throughout the school closures. School meals provide an important source of nutrition for many children in KCPS, where 100 percent of the students qualify under federal guidelines for free breakfasts and lunches.

“In Kansas City Public Schools, we understand the importance of serving this community,” Dr. Bedell said. “We understand that we’re all in this together to help meet the basic needs of our students, whether those are academic, nutritional or social-emotional needs. We’re committed to doing this for as long as we can.”

As always, visit www.kcpublicschools.org/coronovirus for information and updates about our COVID-19 pandemic response.

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