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TPS launches meal delivery and resource distribution initiative

Beginning September 8th Toledo Public Schools will offer delivered breakfasts and lunches to students in need, as well as a bus load of other available student resources.
Published: Aug. 19, 2020 at 5:42 PM EDT
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TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - The start of the school year for Toledo Public Schools will begin with remote learning only, on Sept. 8.

TPS is introducing a program that connects both its transportation services with its food services, to provide students access to food while at home.

“Food resources are a primary need for students to be successful both physically, but as well as intellectually,” said TPS Superintendent Dr. Romulus Durant.

Superintendent Dr. Durant said all TPS students deserve access to meals whether they are in the classroom or at their homes.

According to TPS the distribution initiative will provide students access to breakfast and lunch Monday through Friday of every week.

“What we’re doing is being able to feed them in a way remotely. So what we’ve done is begin to look at our capacity and look at the buses. And now we’re going to deploy the buses right into the community,” said Durant.

Dr. Durant said TPS will use its bus transportation to send food service employees to either centralized community locations or directly to the homes of students to supply them with meals.

Durant explains that the initiative provides TPS employees working with transportation and food service a way to continue working while students are not in school.

“You know we’re leveraging some of our internal capacity but more importantly our external capacity to continue to provide those external services during the school hours by being part of this team that’s rolling out in the community to come address food needs,” said Durant.

TPS’s plan also includes offering health resources to students while at home.

Dr. Durant explains that its buses will include staff capable of assisting students from home in many ways.

“We will be having a team of individuals on the busses, not only food services workers but also mental health agencies and other partners that we have in the district that allow us to provide student services while coming to the home along with the food,” said Durant.

Durant said the initiative comes with minimal expense.

“Well obviously being a high free reduced lunch district, many of this comes from the federal government. We were always working with food services when the school year was going on normally, so the only thing we had to do was figure out how to get the food into the homes,” said Durant.

Durant explains when creating the initiative TPS wanted to support its employees amid the pandemic while also being able to supply its students with proper care.

"The main thing as a district is continuing to serve students at the highest level and whether we are in a pandemic or not in a pandemic, we continue to step forward to do just those things," said Durant.

Durant said 50 TPS school busses are expected to begin rolling out meals and resources throughout the district Sep. 8.

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