Instead of picking up and dropping off students, school bus drivers throughout the state will start delivering meals to children during the extended COVID-19 school closure.
Gov. Kate Brown first gave an executive order to close schools from March 16 until March 31, but that order was extended just days later to last until April 28.
While schools were closed, Brown asked districts to provide nutrition services, learning support and child care during the closure.
School districts throughout Douglas County were feeding students by providing meals at schools and delivering to some other places throughout the community to make the meals more accessible.
Now, districts are going one step further by delivering meals at bus stops and to the homes of students as well, to make sure children continue to be fed.
“In an effort to reach more of our families, we will begin meal deliveries on Monday, March 30, to neighborhoods via buses based on a modified bus route,” Roseburg Public Schools Superintendent Jared Cordon said. “Children and families may arrive at a scheduled stop and receive a grab-and-go meal, which will include both a lunch for that day and a breakfast for the following morning.”
While Roseburg started delivery Monday, other school districts have chosen Wednesday as the start date. Most school districts have information available online regarding their nutrition services. More information can be found by contacting the local school district.
In some areas, the meals will come with homework packets for students.
“We will be delivering the meals at our regular bus stops along with some instructional packets for students to work on while they are not in school,” Glendale School District posted on its Facebook page. “We will drop them off on our two hour delay schedule so you do not have to be out there so early.”
At Yoncalla, a similar strategy will be employed with educational packets being delivered and picked up on Tuesdays of each week.
“Instructional assistants will be handing out the lunches,” Yoncalla School District Superintendent Brian Berry said. “They will be wearing gloves and following the social distancing guidelines. If you are not home, they will drop off the lunches and packets on your porch.”
School bus company First Student did not respond to questions from The News-Review.