Crystal Lake School Districts 47 and 155, in collaboration with food service provider Sodexo, will continue distributing meals weekly during school closures because of the coronavirus, District 47 said in a news release Wednesday.
Elementary School District 47 also is working to provide internet access devices to families without internet so they are able to go online during this time.
More than 11,000 breakfast and lunch grab-and-go meals have been served to date, according to District 47.
Meals are free and available to all students and their siblings under age 18.
For the next two weeks, meals will be available for pickup at Crystal Lake Central High School, at 45 W. Franklin Ave. in Crystal Lake and in the field house entrance off Walkup Road. Food will be provided from 6:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Tuesdays through April 7.
To adhere to Gov. JB Pritzker’s “stay at home” order and avoid interpersonal contact, food pickup will be offered only once a week, the news release said, but families will receive food for the remainder of the week at this time.
Drivers will be asked to open their trunks so bags can be placed there, instead of inside the car, for health and safety reasons.
The news release encouraged parents and guardians to check nutritional labels on food items if their child has any food allergies.
If the school closure extends beyond April 7, more information about meal distributions will be sent out by email to families and posted on the school district websites and social media.
Questions about food distribution can be directed to the District 47 Business Office at 815-788-5021.
When it comes to giving students internet access, last week, the district created a survey asking principals and teachers to help them identify families who don’t have it.
They then placed an order for 20 mifi devices from their wireless internet provider, Denise Barr, spokesperson for District 47, said in an email.
Barr said these mifi devices, which act as a wireless hotspot, arrived Tuesday.
This week, the district ordered an additional 30 units from their provider and another 30 from an online service provider, Barr said. Thirty of these devices should arrive in the next three to five days, and 30 more are expected in two to three weeks, she said.
“We currently have 43 requests for internet access and will continue to work with various providers to meet the needs of our students,” Barr said.
District 47 will be distributing these devices and Chromebooks to families in need during the food distribution Tuesday at Crystal Lake Central High School. Chromebooks are for families who do not have a device in their home. Because students in grades 3 through 8 have a Chromebook, Barr said, this would only apply to kindergarten through second grade students who do not have a device at home or an older sibling with a device.
Barr said the district will be calling families this week to make them aware of this.