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LAST DAY OF SCHOOL MEAL PROGRAM - Workers and volunteers were busy distributing “Grab & Go” meals for Rayne students at the Armstrong Middle School, one of five sites as part of the Acadia Parish School System meal program as schools are closed during the coronavirus pandemic. Monday was the final day of the program in wake of Gov. John Bel Edwards’ “Stay at Home Order” issued Sunday. (Acadian-Tribune Photo by Josie Henry)

Acadia Parish school meal program is halted

In the wake of Gov. John Bel Edwards’ “Stay-at-Home Order,” the meals that had been provided by the Acadia Parish School System have been halted.
Acadia Superintendent Scott Richard announced that cancellation of the program “after careful consideration regarding the safety of all stakeholders.”
Monday was the final day the meals were distributed at five school sites throughout the parish, including Armstrong Middle School for Rayne students.
“The decision to suspend the program was not an easily made decision,” Richard explained. “Major contributing factors include: the Governor’s Stay at Home Order on Sunday, lack of recommended protective gear for our school system staff that are preparing and distributing meals, inability to implement the appropriate social distancing recommendations for the provision of the services, food service workers in other parishes working under similar circumstances requiring COVID-19 testing, overall safety for all stakeholders involved in the process of preparing and picking up meals, additional spread of positive cases of COVID-19 into our region, experiencing some challenges in receiving the USDA meal component requirements from food distributors, etc.”
The superintendent assured that no existing food supplies will be wasted given the suspension of the service.
“We’re also committed to exploring other options that may be made available to us based on the most current guidance provided by the Louisiana Department of Education, as this is a very fluid situation,” Richard said. “We appreciate everyone’s understanding and cooperation as we work through things; and, we will be reassessing the ability to provide the service moving forward.
“We are appreciative of the tremendous efforts of our Child Nutrition Program staff, District Office staff, numerous school-based staff and our community stakeholders that have provided support for this initiative,” Richard added.
“On behalf of the Acadia Parish School Board, we hope that all citizens take the necessary precautions to remain healthy and safe. Updated information regarding Acadia Parish School System operations can be found at the Acadia Parish School System’s website at www.acadia.k12.la.us.”

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