Parents and guardians will now be able to pick up free meals without a child present at the Clark County School District’s food distribution sites after the U.S. Department of Agriculture relaxed the rules for the program during school closures.
The new guidance allows sites to waive the rule, but asks districts to protect “accountability and program integrity.”
As an accountability measure, parents at the CCSD sites will be asked either to provide the student’s ID card, or the student’s name, identification number, school site and grade level, the district said Thursday.
Clark County schools have given out over 164,000 meals at 38 food distribution sites across the district, with demand up sharply in the second week of the program. Locations of the pickup sites can be found online at ccsd.nutrislice.com/menu.
The district reported a single-day record Tuesday of 21,777 meals distributed. That was more than five times the 3,999 on the first day of distribution on March 16.
On a typical school day, CCSD serves approximately 100,000 breakfasts and 175,000 lunches for a total of 275,000 meals.
Online, parents are exchanging ideas for how to cook and serve the fruit and vegetables offered by the district, as some families report receiving several packages of each. They’ve turned them into stews, breads and muffins in a CCSD version of the popular cooking competition “Chopped.”
Parent Elysa de Leon said she blended six packs of frozen pineapple into homemade Dole whips for her family. On Thursday, she said she added broccoli given out by CCSD to ramen and toasted the ham and cheese sandwiches for her kids’ lunches.
Rebecca Dirks Garcia said she turned extra pineapple and apples into a skillet cake with instant pot apple butter.
“My 8-year-old did it with me so we count as science and math too,” Garcia said. “She struggles with math in school but loves baking, so I keep reminding (her) that’s math and chemistry.”
After parents reported concerns that leftover food at district sites was going to waste, the Review-Journal asked the district what happens to any leftover food at meal sites, if the food is thrown away or donated, and what rules govern extras.
District representatives said meals available at food sites can be used for several days with proper storage methods, adding that the district has the ability to donate food to local food banks if needed.
The district did not respond to when asked if it donates leftover food to food banks.