By Randi Pierce
Archuleta School District (ASD) is continuing to deliver food, as well as other items, to Archuleta County youth through a summer meal program.
The district began delivering and making meals available to children up to age 18 the week of March 15 when the schools went to distance learning due to COVID-19.
Through the week of June 1, ASD had delivered 21,573 meals, reaching a high of 2,304 meals the week of April 6.
“It is an amazing feat” that’s been pulled together, Assistant Superintendent Laura Mijares told the ASD Board of Education Tuesday evening, adding that she is pleased ASD’s staff has “rallied around” the program.
“The Summer Food Service Program works with USDA support to provide meals to eligible children in Colorado,” Mijares’ written report to the board states. “ASD has elected to participate in this program and has received additional financial support from DHS and Colorado’s COVID-19 Emergency Hunger Relief Fund. During this time Archuleta School District committed to feeding all children ages 0-18, following USDA guidelines for summer feeding programs.”
Monday through Friday, Mijares reported, meals (sack meals comprising breakfast and lunch) are delivered by school drivers in ASD buses or mini-buses on six different routes. Meals can also be picked up at Pagosa Springs High School or Pagosa Peak Open School between 9 a.m. and noon.
Mijares also told the board the program has grown to include collaborations with other community partners: the Ruby M. Sisson Memorial Library, Rotary Club of Pagosa Springs and Archuleta County Department of Human Services (DHS).
The library, she wrote, “has made available age appropriate reading materials for both delivery and pick up.”
That, she told the board, includes materials for the library’s popular Summer Reading Program.
The Rotary Club, she explained, has committed to continuing its backpack program through the summer and creates weekend packages of nonperishable food that are delivered to identified families via the bus routes.
DHS received a grant of diapers/Pull-Ups, baby wipes and formula, Mijares indicated, with families of infants and toddlers able to pick up a week’s worth of supplies.
“Incredible work, Laura,” board chair Brooks Lindner stated at the meeting.
For more on the bus stops and times, see www.mypagosaschools.com.