Champaign, Urbana, and other area school districts address how to feed students during school closures.
As most are aware, the state of Illinois has extended the closure of all K-12 public and private schools through April 7 in an attempt to halt the spread of the coronavirus. That will impact many families who depend on food provided at schools. Many other families may be impacted by job loss and other economic impacts of the current situation, and Champaign-Urbana area districts are stepping up to help.
Talking to Children about Covid-19: Our Interview with an Expert | This week’s update from Chambanamoms.com | AP Exams, SAT, ACT: What Champaign-Urbana Families Need to Know | Champaign Unit 4 Offers Learning Resources | Find local info about social distancing with kids Champaign-Urbana Grocery Store Updates | Champaign-Urbana Area Library Resources | | 300 resources for learning and entertainment
Food distributions started on March 23, but districts continue to tweak their food distribution systems.
Champaign Unit 4 (updated as of 11 pm Friday March 27)
During the state mandated school closure, Champaign Unit 4 created the following food distribution plan for those 18 and younger and any individual participating in the Young Adult Program. Kids do not have to be Unit 4 students to utilize this service.
Going forward, the Unit 4 Schools food distribution plan will be as follows:
- Drive thru distribution sites will be MONDAYS ONLY at Booker T. Washington, Garden Hills Academy and Jefferson Middle School from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m.
- Home delivery will be on Fridays ONLY. Participants will be contacted the day before with delivery instructions. (Meals were distributed on March 27 for next week).
Each child 18 and younger will get a meal box containing five (5) breakfasts and five (5) lunches.
Champaign Unit 4 Schools will also distribute school supplies to families who need them at food distribution sites and through home delivery. It hopes to begin this in the first week of April.
Recipients must be in a vehicle with closed doors and windows in order to pick-up meals from sites. The form that was previously available to request meals or arrange meal delivery is now closed (https://forms.gle/FmtVcmziG4BGPyBx5). If no transportation is available, please call the Food Service Office (217) 351-3852 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to set up home delivery of meal boxes.
The following process will be utilized by staff distributing meals at the distribution site. Unit 4 Staff will direct through the following signs, to help move the process along.
Sign #1: DO NOT Roll Down Windows or Open Doors
Sign #2: How Many Children ages 18 and Younger: Families will hold up the number of fingers they have for children under 18.
Sign #3: Please Pull Up to Pick-Up Site to Collect Meal Boxes: A meal box includes five breakfasts and five lunches.
“While I know this is a stressful and challenging time for all of us, I also hope you find time to connect with those in your family. I know our Unit 4 Community is strong and we will get through this together,” said Superintendent Susan Zola.
Find more information about Unit 4’s Covid-19 response on its website.
Urbana School District 116 (updated as of 3/28):
From the Urbana School District 116 Covid-19 page: (follow the links to Meal Information in English, French, or Spanish)
USD116 is providing meals for families to any child 18 and under during school closures through April 7. Families are invited to visit any one of these sites to receive a breakfast and lunch meal bag. Each bag will contain one breakfast and one lunch for each student. Families are not required to visit a specific site, rather visit which of the three USD116 locations is most convenient for your family. If you are without transportation, MTD is providing free rides to the community. For more information about available routes, please visit their website.
Starting March 30 through Tuesday, April 7, Urbana will have four drive-up meal sites open weekdays from 10 a.m. until noon at the following school buildings:
- Dr. Williams Elementary: Front circle drive off Washington St.
- Dr. King Elementary: Goodwin circle drive
- Urbana High School: Door 9 on Tiger Lane off the gymnasium
- Yankee Ridge Elementary School:
When you arrive at the drive-up, everyone will be expected to follow these step-by-step directions:
- Please remain in your vehicle with doors and windows closed. Indicate by hand signal how many meals bags you need for children 18 and under
- We are all following social distancing guidelines, so please remain in your vehicle, while a staff member brings out the meals and places them on the table
- After the staff member has entered the building, please exit your vehicle, collect your meals, then return to your vehicle and exit the drive-up meal line
USD116 will also be providing deliveries to specific neighborhoods with large populations of children. School districts were encouraged by the Illinois State Board of Education to feed as many students as possible, and these deliveries will allow us to provide meals to an additional 500 students each day. A meal bag with a breakfast and lunch will be delivered to these communities by 10 a.m. Meals will only be available between 10:00am and 10:45am to maintain the freshness of the meals. We are providing meals based on the number of USD116 students residing in the following areas:
- Countryview: Meals will be available out by the front mailboxes in the Circle Drive
- Ivanhoe: Meals will be available at the pavilion at the park
- Liberty Commons: Meals will be available in the community room by the office
- Loral: Meals will be available at 29 Fern St. in the empty pad
- Northwood: Meals will be available in the Pavilion by the playground
- Woodland Acres: Meals will be available in the front porch of office
- Woods Edge: Meals will be available under the flagpole at the entrance.
We appreciate your understanding and support as news and information continues to change daily. The health and wellness of our USD116 community is our primary focus. We urge you to stay connected with USD116 via social media (@urbana116) and our new COVID-19 webpage where we will continue to keep you updated if and when we need to communicate changes. For more information and questions, please contact us at email@example.com.
Unit 7 Schools (Tolono, Sadorus, Philo, Sidney, Pesotum) (updated as of 11 pm on 3/27):
“In order to help our families reduce the amount that they travel, beginning on Monday, March 30th, breakfast and lunch sacks will be provided on Mondays and Wednesdays only. Drive-thru pick up will available from 9:30-10:30 AM on the east side of Unity High School by the baseball fields. Monday’s meal sack will include 2 breakfasts and 2 lunches and Wednesday’s meal sack will include 3 breakfast and 3 lunches. Breakfast and lunch sacks are available for any Unit 7 child. Please call your school office if you have any questions.” More info:
Heritage Schools (updated as of 11 pm on Friday, March 27):
The next pick-up date for the Heritage Meals Plan for all K-12 students will be Monday March 30 from 8am-10am at both Heritage JH/Elementary in Homer at front doors and at Heritage HS in Broadlands at northwest new gym glass doors. This will be for a FIVE (5) DAY food & milk distribution. More info: https://heritage8.org/heritage-food-plan
Mahomet-Seymour CUSD #3 (updated as of 4:45pm on 3/18/20; has not changed as of 3/27):
The Mahomet-Seymour school district is providing FREE MEALS (breakfast/lunch) to any child between March 23rd and March 30th. Please fill out this Google Form, AS SOON AS POSSIBLE, to request meals and delivery if needed. Your responses are needed to plan for food preparation.
ANY CHILD UNDER THE AGE OF 18 OR IN OUR ATLAS PROGRAM IS ELIGIBLE. Children do not need to be students of the Mahomet-Seymour CUSD #3 Schools.
Food pick up will be at Lincoln Trail and Middletown Prairie Elementary Schools for all families from 10:00 a.m. to noon. This is a drive up service–on the east side of Middletown Prairie and in parking lot of Lincoln Trail. Here again is the link to the Google form: https://forms.gle/umrJjDGRqmQeHQfb9
Rantoul City Schools, Thomasboro, Gifford, Rantoul Township High School updated as of March 26 per Todd Wilson, principal of Rantoul Township High School
RCS sites will distribute meals for the entire week on Monday, March 30. Several of the other sites are going to either two or three distributions throughout the week rather than daily pick-ups. The specific details for each site are listed below (Monday = March 30, Tuesday = March 31, Wednesday = April 1, Friday = April 3)
Thomasboro – Pick-up is at Thomasboro Grade School from 10:30 am – 11:30 am on Monday and Thursday. You can come to the west gym door.
Fountain Valley – Pick-up will be at the main entrance to the trailer park from 9:00 am – 10:00 am on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.
Gifford – Please email Kathy Lutes at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 217-568-7733. Leave your child’s name and address and meals will be delivered to your home.
Ludlow – Pick-up is a Ludlow Grade School 10:00 am – 11:00 am. You can pull up in front of the school.
Triangle Trailer Park – Pick-up will be by trailer #1 from 11:00 am – 11:30 am.
Willow Pond Golf Course – Pick-up will be in the parking lot from 9:00 am – 10:00 am on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.
Rantoul Township High School: Pick-up will be on the one-way (Sheldon st.) from 9:00 am – 10:00 am on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. You can pull up in front of the school.
Eater Jr. High: Pick-up will be on the south side of the school from 11:00 am – 12:00 pm on Monday. You can pull up by the back door of the cafeteria. Meals will distributed for the entire week and include some frozen items.
Broadmeadow: Pick-up will be under the awning on the west side of the school from 11:00 am – 12:00 pm on Monday. Meals will distributed for the entire week and include some frozen items.
Pleasant Acres: Pick-up will be on the circle drive on the south side of the school from 11:00 am – 12:00 pm on Monday. Meals will distributed for the entire week and include some frozen items.
Eastlawn: Pick-up will be under the awning on the south side of the school from 11:00 am – 12:00 pm on Monday. Meals will distributed for the entire week and include some frozen items.
Northview: Pick will be at the main entrance on the north side of the school from 11:00 am – 12:00 pm on Monday. Meals will distributed for the entire week and include some frozen items.
The Linden (Southpointe area): Pick-up will be on the circle drive on the west side of the building from 9:00 am – 10:00 am on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.
Prairieview-Ogden Jr. High: Meals will be distributed from 10:00 am – 11:00 am on Monday and Thursday. To request a meal, please email email@example.com
Once again, any of our families can access any of the sites, please choose the one that is most convenient for you.