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Child Nutrition Program still providing meals to hundreds of children

Even with school facilities closed and students at home, local schools are continuing its efforts to ensure children have access to meals.

Through the Demopolis City School’s Child Nutrition Program, any youth 18 or under is permitted to pick up a school lunch, either at Westside Elementary or at U.S. Jones Elementary between 10 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. each weekday. The meals will not be available next week as it was scheduled as spring break.

According to Superintendent Kyle Kallhoff, members of the CNP staff are rotating shifts in providing the meals each day. “I can’t say enough about the job they are doing. They are out there each day doing great work.”

Kallhoff said through the first week of closed schools, an average of 200 children each day at USJ and about 150 each day at WES. On Tuesday, a total of 435 meals were served.

The program is open to anyone 18 or below. “I can’t stress it enough … you do not have to be a student of our school system. This program is available to anyone 18 and under,” Kallhoff said.

The system had announced that it would close until April 6, but added that the situation would continue to be monitored and that schools could be closed longer. “We are going to have to wait. A good indication is if we continue to see the number of cases rise. As long as there are cases out there we’ll need to continue to stay closed, which is why it is so important that we practice social distancing and all of those things we are being told to do to prevent the spread,” Kallhoff said.

The system is providing enrichment activities for students, but that most academic programs related to student grades are on hold.