Bringing out the best: Cullman City Schools begins “grab and go” meal distribution

Staffers and volunteers keep their “social distance” while preparing meal packs at West Elementary School Monday morning. (Photo courtesy of Kim Townson Hall/CCS)

CULLMAN, Ala. – Cullman City Schools (CCS) on Monday began distributing “Grab and Go Curbside Meals” to students 18 and younger from the lunchroom at West Elementary School. Each student in the drive-through line received two days’ worth of breakfasts and lunches.

Cullman High School Principal Kim Townson Hall, who volunteered to help, told The Tribune, “Our child nutrition workers from around the school system have all come together this morning. (CCS Superintendent) Dr. (Susan) Patterson’s been here with them since early this morning, and Dreama Young- who is our coordinator of the Child Nutrition Program. 

“What we’ve done is combine the child nutrition workers from all five schools to this one location at West Elementary, and we’ve had teacher volunteers from Cullman High School here today and from West Elementary,” Hall said. “We set up an assembly line so that everyone can maintain their distance from one another. They’re using gloves as they prepare the food: it’s a grab-and-go style, so everything is in a package.” 

Hall continued,

“We’ve made sure that all volunteers came on a voluntary basis, because we didn’t want someone with a compromised immune system, or if they had someone at home with a compromised immune system who had been sick, to come today. Everyone worked on a voluntary basis.  Teachers from CCPS, CMS, and EES will be rotation in to help as needed.”

“The child nutrition workers have been in, preparing the meals, and we’ve had some of our coaches volunteer out under the awning, along with our School Resource Officers. They have determined how many children in the home or in the car needed meals, and they would put those on the table.  The individual from the car would then come pick up the meal.”

CCS will return to West Elementary from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Wednesday to offer grab-and-go packs with three breakfasts and lunches per child. Meals will not be distributed during Spring Break next week.

At 12:30 p.m., the final count of children served was 368, receiving 736 meals.

After distribution concluded for the day, Patterson told The Tribune in a message, “Cullman City Schools served takeout meals to our students today. Given the uncertainty of everything during this time it was great to provide our students with good meals in addition to the food we sent home last week. I want to thank our CNP Coordinator, Mrs. Young, our CNP staff members and the many volunteers who made this possible. It is so great to have people who are willing to work so hard to see our students get what they need.”

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