The extended school year for Minneapolis Public School students hasn’t extended to fresh snacks and a hot lunch. During the two-week extension, to make up for the required number of school days lost during the educators strike, students are being served a cold lunch and, apparently, no afternoon snack.
A parent from Lyndale Community School, "Lucy", reached out and told us afternoon snacks were not available to students. The parent asked to be anonymous to not upset school administration.
According to the district, “snacks are continuing to be served with the exception of fresh fruit/vegetable snacks that were part of the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program. Funding for that program ran out at the end of May.”
Students are allowed to bring their own lunch and snack from home.
According to the district, the lunches were switched to a “picnic-type meal” because of the reduced availability of school kitchen staff to prepare and serve meals. Contractually, the last day for most workers in the Culinary & Wellness Department was June 10.
Lucy explained that the district currently provides families with a breakfast and lunch that can be heated up at home with a snack.
“Instead of allocating those to have kids eat at school, they are holding them until after school is out,” Lucy said.
Food distribution specifics are not decided at the school building-level.
“There is so much food insecurity, which is why the school provides food for kids to take home while distance learning or during the summer,” Lucy said.
The district is also ending its no-cost lunch program next year due to COVID-19 USDA waivers expiring. Universal breakfast will still be available to all students at no cost.
Students and parents, we’d like to hear from you. What is the lunch and snack situation at your school?