El Reno Public Schools first day of food distribution during the COVID-19 outbreak was a success, said Public Outreach Director Brooke Robertson. Between its four school sites and the stops made by the mobile van, some 400 meals were passed out to anyone ages 18 and under.
“The breakdown was pretty even between the mobile van and our school sites,” said Robertson.
Each person was given two meals at once, a breakfast and lunch, along with milk. The breakfast sack included cereal and juice, while the lunch sack was a choice between a sub or a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Lunch sacks also included chips and a dessert.
“Each of our team members thought something different but I didn't think the numbers we served would be as high so I was a little surprised. The longer this situation regresses, our numbers could be a little more,” said Robertson.
The school sites and mobile van will run each day this week. School sites will be open from 9 to 11 a.m. for curbside pickup. Walk-ups will also be served but no person will be allowed in the schools.
School sites are Hillcrest, Etta Dale, Roblyer and Rose Witcher Learning Centers. Officials urge those wanting meals to use the school site closest to their home even if the student does not attend that school.
The remote sites and times will be:
▶ Holbrook Addition at 9 a.m.
▶ Townsend Street (west of Memorial Stadium) at 9:30 a.m.
▶ Old Booker T. Washington School at 10 a.m.
▶ Frank Knight Park at 10:30 a.m.
▶ Legion Park (swimming pool) at 11 a.m.
On Friday each school site and the remote locations will be passing out meals for that day as well as a weekend backpack of food.
The backpack will also include fun books which are being provided in a joint effort between ERPS and Wesley United Methodist Church.
“There will be two vans at our mobile sites on Friday. One will be passing out meals and the other will be handing out the weekend bags and the fun books,” said Robertson.
The meal schedule will be changing next week and details are currently being worked out.
Monday evening, El Reno McDonald's owners Julie and Brian LaPat kicked off a weeklong feeding program by serving 471 meals to children ages 14 and under.
The event will be held daily through Friday at the drive-thru from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. The dinner includes buttermilk chicken tenders, apple juice, apple slices and a cookie.
Children must be in the car. A modified drive-thru experience will be staffed by the LaPat family and their friends. Visitors must stay in their cars. Parents can bring their kids through each night if they choose, getting a free meal for them each time.
The offer is once per evening for each child.
No purchase is necessary, but customers are welcome to buy adult meals.
County school districts began feeding programs as well on Monday, with Union City serving 24 breakfast meals and 55 lunches.
Calumet served meals on Monday but on Tuesday began handing out a week’s worth of meals.
The district will again pass out a week’s worth of meals on March 31. Times are from 6:30 to 10 a.m.