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RCS serves daily breakfast, lunch for students

In the midst of school closings, Russellville City Schools is working hard to ensure students are able to have a daily breakfast and lunch.

RCS Child Nutrition Program Director Elaine Vaughn said RCS is averaging handing out 500 meals a day.

“It went much better than we thought it was going to, and it’s picking up every day,” Vaughn said. “It’s a great program, and as the word gets out even more, I expect we will be giving out more meals.”

Meals are available for pickup each weekday from 10 a.m. until noon in front of the cafeteria at Russellville Elementary School. Cars are able to pull up and tell the number of children in need of meals, and an RCS worker will deliver the meals to the car.

The bagged meal includes lunch and breakfast – each bagged separately but served together, since the breakfast can be eaten the following day.

Meals are being handed out for each individual day so RCS is able to include hot meals for students.

Vaughn said originally five staff members were scheduled to help with preparing and handing out meals, but as the number of meals has increased, that number has increased as well, to about 15.

Workers usually come in three hours before cars pull up to begin bagging meals in the cafeteria. Breakfast is bagged in the dining room portion of the cafeteria, while the lunch portion is prepared in the kitchen.

Once meals are bagged, they are loaded onto a cart and delivered outside to wait for cars to pick up meals for students.

Russellville City Schools Superintendent Heath Grimes said Russellville City Schools employees have been eager to help during this time.

“If anything, I’ve had to make sure we don’t have too many people and make sure people are not too close,” Grimes said. “It’s been hard to make those changes, but we are trying to lead by example by practicing social distancing and making sure we wear gloves and do all of the things we need to follow protocol.”

Grimes said he is proud of the work his staff has put in and is glad to see RCS still working hard to help students.

”We don’t know how long we are going to be doing this, but right now we are just glad we can help take some stress off of people in this tough time,” Grimes said, “because if nothing else, they know where food is going to come from.”