Submitted by North Beach School District
The North Beach School District’s primary role is to teach and support the scholars within the district, but it also provides a robust feeding program during the school year. For the past five years, the Green Lantern Lunch Program has stepped in to fill the gap in school-provided meals during the summer months and other school breaks to ensure that students continue to have access to healthy meals.
The COVID-19 Pandemic has further emphasized the importance of school feeding programs and leaders of both organizations realized they needed to pull together like never before to ensure healthy lunches all summer long.
“We need a different solution for the summer of 2020,” Shaughnessy articulated, “All of our volunteers are in the “experienced” age group that puts us at extreme risk with COVID-19, and we don’t have the space to appropriately distance to keep everyone safe.”
NBSD Superintendent Andrew Kelly offered to provide space in the North Beach High School, which has been empty since March 13 when Governor Inslee’s Stay Home/Stay Safe directive took effect. Green Lantern will partner with the district’s growing culinary arts program to provide summer lunches beginning on Monday, June 22 through Monday, August 31.
Superintendent Kelly is excited by the partnership. “Typically, the USDA rules would prevent the district from helping and distributing lunches in this way,” Kelly said. The flexibility offered through COVID-19 exceptions to federal school lunch program restrictions will allow daily meal delivery to any youth 18 or younger within the North Beach School District. “Our kids’ health and safety is always the number 1 priority for the district,” he emphasized.
North Beach Culinary Arts Teacher Chef Shawn will work with other district staff, Green Lantern volunteers, and even North Beach Culinary Arts students to ensure that all kids receive two meals a day, Monday through Friday.
Neither Shaughnessy nor Kelly know exactly what the future holds in terms of federal flexibility and continued partnership but they both are 100 percent committed to working together to ensure that, in an uncertain time, food will not be one of the daily worries or stressors for “their” kids.
Specific questions about the summer food program delivery or requests to sign up can be directed to Chef Shawn at email@example.com. To support the Green Lantern Lunch Program through your donation or to volunteer please visit their web site at www.greenlanternlunches.org.