DOE will provide student meals during extended closure

The Hawaii Department of Education will provide student meals during the extended closure of public schools due to concerns over the coronavirus concerns.

The student meals will be offered Monday through Friday at 39 pick-up site and includes grab-and-go breakfast and lunch. Meals are for children 18 years and under, the DOE said Thursday.

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Breakfast will be available from 7:30 to 8 a.m. and lunch will be offered from 11:30 a.m. to noon on weekdays. Meals will not be served on March 26 in observance of Prince Kuhio Day.

Hawaii Island grab-and-go sites are Ka‘u High and Intermediate School, Kohala High School, Konawaena High School, Pahoa High and Intermediate School, and Waiakea High School. Some will begin offering service as early as this week.

Starting March 24, Hawaii Island student meal sites are Honokaa High School and Kahakai Elementary and Waimea Elementary schools.

The DOE said there will be no personal interaction between employees and the community. All meals will be placed in containers. Meals will be located outside of the cafeteria, preferably closest to a driveway or other natural access point on the campus. There will be no access to the cafeteria.

The locations were selected based on criteria including a high number of students eligible for the Free and Reduced Price Lunch Program and geography. HIDOE is monitoring the situation and may add additional sites if necessary.

Hawaii’s public and public charter schools will remain closed through April 6 with plans to resume instruction on April 7 for students.

Graduation ceremonies, which are normally held in mid-to-late May, have not yet been modified and any necessary scheduling changes will be announced at a future date.

In addition, HIDOE offices except for essential functions will be closed for the next 15 days. School and state offices will continue to provide public services remotely.

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“Closing our schools will help safeguard the health of our children, teachers, staff and surrounding communities as we fight against the spread of COVID-19,” Superintendent Dr. Christina Kishimoto said. “We appreciate the support and commitment of our public school ‘ohana as we collectively navigate these uncharted waters.”

Employees will be working remotely and those who need to perform duties at a campus or office during this period will be limited to those tasks before returning to their telework arrangement.

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