Wichita Public Schools strategizes to meet high demand for free meals

Published: Sep. 18, 2020 at 8:20 PM CDT
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WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - Wichita Public Schools met Friday afternoon to strategize how to keep up with the high demand for free meals. The free breakfast and lunch meals are available to every student in the district through the free school meal program, sponsored by the USDA.

But on Thursday, almost all of the district’s 12 pick-up sites ran out of food.

“They ran out of food at a couple of different locations," said parent Austin Johnson. "Some parents rely on that food for breakfast and lunch. that’s extra money they don’t have to spend.”

The district handed out 59,000 meals, but parents who showed up to pick up meals for their children for next week left empty-handed. In some cases, as cars wrapped around the building, some sites ran out of food just thirty minutes after opening,

“The first week was pretty bad, we got here 15 minutes early, and didn’t leave until 6:30," said Johnson.

The district is now making plans to adjust the number of meals to hopefully, be ready for next week.

Wichita Public Schools Director of Nutrition Services, David Paul, said the district didn’t know how many people would show up, but they are working on better planning for next week.

“This is new territory for all of us. We don’t know how many people are going to come at a given time. We need to continue to work on our planning, so we don’t run out of food at any sites. We’re going to meet with our management team, and continue to work on forecasts for each site, and do the best we can to have as much food at each site," Paul said.

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