ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Albuquerque Public Schools students won’t have to worry about getting their usual school meals while remote learning. The Grab-and-Go Meals program will be sending kids home with a week’s worth of food at a time as a matter of convenience for families and to be socially distant.
“Food and Nutrition serves meals to 45,000 students a day, so what we’re doing right now is adapting to a new delivery system,” Monica Armenta with APS explained. Starting the first Monday in August, APS students can pick up a week’s worth of pre-packaged breakfasts and lunches at a time from any of the district’s 13 high schools.
Staff says this isn’t necessarily a huge undertaking because they’re used to preparing and packaging mass quantities of food in the APS Food Warehouse off Lomas and Louisiana, and that they don’t anticipate running out of meals. Pickups will be offered in drive-thru lines, and district staff will place the bags of food containing frozen, refrigerated, dry foods, and milk in car trunks.
The district served 2.7 million total meals in the spring with the daily grab-and-go option. That was followed by a lull in the summer so it’s hoping to feed more students this fall.
“We’re hoping to get the numbers back up because New Mexico has a lot of food insecurity,” APS Food and Nutrition Services Executive Director Sandra Kemp said in a pre-recorded interview on the district’s YouTube channel.
Families will need school-issued tickets to pick up the food, so the district can track meals to get reimbursed by the USDA National School Lunch program at a cost of about $25 per student per week. The district will continue to offer this service when it starts a hybrid learning model after Labor Day in which students will be in class Tuesdays through Fridays every other week.
A total of nine million meals have been served to students statewide through their districts since in-person instruction ended in mid-March.
APS states that families can pick up the pre-printed meal tickets at their child’s school from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. or from 11 a.m. to 1 p..m. on August 13 and 14. Students can pick up meals at the following locations:
- Albuquerque High – student parking off Odelia
- Atrisco Heritage – student parking lot off 118 St.
- Cibola – north student parking lot off Ellison
- Del Norte – student parking lot off San Mateo
- Eldorado – student parking lot off Juan Tabo
- Highland – student parking off Silver
- La Cueva – student parking lot off Alameda
- Manzano – student parking lot off Lomas
- Rio Grande – student parking lot at the corner of Arenal and Los Faisanes
- Sandia – student parking at the corner of Pennsylvania and Candelaria
- Valley – drop-off loop off Candeleria
- Volcano Vista – parking lot off Rainbow
- West Mesa – parking lot off Glenrio
Families who are enrolled in the following schools are encouraged to apply for free or reduced-price meals: A Montoya, Albuquerque High, Arroyo del Oso, Bandelier, Chamiza, Cibola, College & Career, Coronado, Corrales, Dennis Chavez, Desert Ridge, Double Eagle, Early College Academy, eCademy K-8 and High School, Eisenhower, Eldorado, Georgia O’Keeffe, Hoover, Hubert Humphrey, James Monroe, Jefferson, John Baker, La Cueva, L.B. Johnson, Madison, Manzano, Marie Hughes, Monte Vista, Nex+Gen, North Star, Osuna, Petroglyph, Roosevelt, S.Y. Jackson, San Antonito, Sandia Base, Sandia, 7-Bar, Sierra Vista, Sunset View, Tierra Antigua, Tony Hillerman, Tres Volcanes, Valley, Ventana Ranch, Volcano Vista, Zia.
Students at all other APS schools are automatically eligible to receive meals at no cost. That is because those schools qualify for the Community Eligibility Provision that allows school districts in high poverty areas to provide meals at no cost to students.
Student families who don’t qualify for free meals can pre-pay for meals at their child’s school through MySchoolbucks.com which does charge a convenience fee. Additional information can be found on the APS Food and Nutrition Services website.
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