Feeding families and individuals in need has become the focus of Alcona Community Schools and the Alcona County Commission on Aging (ACCOA) during a time of state mandated school, business and public gathering closures.
These closures, which remain in effect until the end of March, are impacting just about every aspect of the community – especially those in need of food. To help combat hunger, derived from the closing of the schools and senior center congregate meals, the school district and the ACCOA are developing food distribution locations for those who need it. Both are working toward having the least amount of human contact as possible.
According to Dan O’Connor, Alcona Community Schools superintendent, the district will be providing breakfast and lunch for all youth up to age 18. Persons up to age 26 who are enrolled in an educational program for the mentally or physically disabled that is recognized by a state or local public education agency may also take part in this program.
This meal service program is for all youth, including students that do not ride a school bus and all Head Start students. Anyone who does not ride a bus but lives on a school bus route, may pick up food at the bus stop closest to their home.
Meal pick-ups this week are Tuesday, March 17 and Thursday, March 19 between 4 to 6 p.m. at morning bus stop locations. Each food pick-up will be breakfast and lunch for multiple days. In order to receive the food, someone must be waiting at the bus stop.
“To ensure food does not go to waste we are encouraging all families to accept meals this week. If your family does not want meals, please complete an opt out form at the time of delivery,” O’Connor said. “Families that opt out of meals will not be able to opt back in.”
“We appreciate your patience and support as we launch this meal service program in response to our emergency closure,” he said.
A food distribution update for the week of March 23 will be shared later this week.
Additional Food Distribution
In addition to drive through congregate meals at the Lincoln Senior Center, the ACCOA is putting up a Popup Pantry on Thursday, March 19 from 4-6 p.m. in the large parking lot in front of the Alcona High School community auditorium. This will be a drive through where folks stay in their vehicle and volunteers will load it with food.
ACCOA executive director Lenny Avery said it is important to follow directions at school entry points and through the parking lot. There will be four to five pick up stations, and vehicles will be directed to each point by volunteers or signs.
“We are going to have limited contact between drivers and volunteers loading food into vehicles to ensure health safety standards,” Avery said Monday. “And, other safety precautions will also be in place.”
The Popup Pantry is for any Alcona County resident in need, Avery explained. “This is for any Alcona County resident who really needs food, not just because they are in a panic,” he said.
Volunteers are needed for the Popup Pantry, according to Avery. Anyone who is available by 11 a.m. to help unload the food delivery at 11 a.m. and help organize and distribute food through 6 p.m. is encouraged to contact the ACCOA. For more information or to volunteer, contact the ACCOA at (989) 736-8879.
Avery hopes to have more Popup Pantry dates, but could not commit to anything at press time.
Food is on the way TODAY for ALL students! Alcona Community Schools will be providing breakfast and lunch for all youth up to age 18. Make sure to be at your morning bus stop today between 4pm-6pm (10 hours after your regular morning pick-up time). For example, if your regular school bus pick-up time is 6:45am, your meal pick-up will be at 4:45pm at your morning bus stop location. Families that do not want meals can opt out at the time of delivery. This meal service program is for all youth, including all head start students and students that do not ride the school bus. If you do not ride the bus and live on a school bus route, it will be the location of where your pick-up would normally be located. Please note the menu for today’s delivery will be distributed virtually later today via social media, email, and text. The menu will explain the refrigeration requirements for each item. We appreciate your patience and support as we launch this meal service program in response to our emergency closure. If you have questions please call 989-736-6212.