The “Grab & Go Meal Service,” operated by the Child Nutrition Program of the Diocesan Catholic schools office, has with deep regret been suspended effective today, 24 March 2020.

We want to thank the school lunchroom employees and volunteers who helped serve over 6,000 combined breakfasts and lunches to school children, regardless of their faith, in the mere three days the program was in operation.

The suspension by the Catholic school district follows the discontinuance of the same program at several public school districts around the state.

Not one, but a number of factors contributed to the action by the Catholic schools. New, stringent guidelines issued by the Department of Health and Hospitals – for the safety of our employees and those they were serving – required that temperatures be taken of all employees and volunteers.  The shortage of thermometers made this mandate problematical. Six-feet spacing requirements between lunchroom employees could not be accommodated because of the size of some kitchens. Mandated personal protection equipment was not available for employees and volunteers to wear. Newly reported cases of the virus in the community, and the fact that many of our lunchroom employees and volunteers are in the high-risk group, were a cause of mounting concern. Finally, the state’s “Stay at Home” order effective March 23 reinforced for everyone the gravity of the situation. Taking all these factors into consideration, we decided it was prudent to suspend service.

We are deeply grateful to the following schools, their employees and their volunteers who participated in the program.

  1. Cristo Rey High
  2. Mater Dolorosa
  3. Most Blessed
  4. Our Lady of Mercy
  5. Redemptorist
  6. St Aloysius
  7. St Francis Xavier
  8. St Jean Vianney
  9. St John Primary
  10. St Thomas More

Should these circumstances change in the future, we would love to start serving meals to our students and others in the surrounding communities.