School is closed. So far, Dillingham's school district has provided over 5,000 meals to kids

Apr 13, 2020

 Any person 18 years or younger in the Dillingham area is eligible for the meal service program, which provides breakfast, lunch and a snack. Business Manager Phil Hulett talks about the program's first full weeks of service.

All meals are shelf stable to help prevent foodborne illness. 4/13/2020
Credit Tyler Thompson

The Dillingham City School District delievered over 5,000 meals in the past two weeks. The service kicked off at the end of March after the state mandated that schools remain shut down until May 1 due to the coronavirus. Last week, Governor Mike Dunleavy officially closed in-person classes through the end of the academic year, so students are completing school work from home. 

The district ordered shelf stable foods from the Foodbank of Alaska. Business Manager Phil Hulett and 11 other staff members at the school are volunteering to make deliveries Monday through Friday. They start at 10:45 a.m. and follow the normal bus routes. Hulett said they average over 280 stops per day.

“We’re just trying to use the funds and resources that we have to provide meals for kids," he said. "And parents, normally these kids would be at school anyway. I have four kids at home, and I know how much groceries my kids put away. Having the meal service delivered helps reduce the expenses we have as well.”

Each package is comprised of a breakfast item, lunch and a snack. If someone is missed, Hulett coordinates with volunteers to setup a delivery or arrange for pickup at the school. The service is also available for anyone 18 years or younger in the area.

“It’s not like your name has to be on a list or anything like that," Hulett said. "It’s just if you’re there, we’re going to get you a meal.”

Meals can also be picked up at the elementary school from 12:00 p.m. until 12:45 p.m. The service will continue until May 22 when the school year would have originally ended. 

Last week, we spoke with educators in Bristol Bay about their adjustments to life outside the classroom. Teachers and staff members are getting creative with curriculums and are stepping up to make themselves available for their students. 

Superintendent Jason Johnson called us earlier this week to share a message of gratitude

 

 

Contact the author at tyler@kdlg.org or 907-842-2200