Local Schools Feeding our Children

Pam Baumgart hands off Monday and Tuesday meals to a local parent. – Photos by Katie Kovacs

By Katie Kovacs
Amid the COVID-19 outbreak, food service members across the Seymour District are working together to prepare lunches for children throughout the community.
The Seymour Community School District is offering breakfasts and lunches for pickup at six locations in the area: St. Sebastian Parking Lot (Isaar), Town Hall Parking Lot (Osborn), Recreational Building parking lot on Hwy H (Oneida), Community Center parking lot (Nichols), Rock Ledge Intermediate School front door (Seymour) and Black Creek Elementary School front door.

Tami Kimball smiles while greeting a parent while Pam and Sarah Baumgart (in background) organize lunches for pick-up.

Pickup days are Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Tuesday meals will be given on Mondays, and Thursday meals will be given on Wednesdays.
Meals are available to all families of any income level – not just for low-income.
The meals are available to all children, 18 years and under, whether they attend school or not. A form is available online for parents to fill out and request meals for their children. The form can be found on the school website at www.seymour.k12.wi.us/district/covid-19-updates.cfm.
Additionally, parents can call the district office 920-833-2304 with the number of meals needed and the preferred pickup location.
Meals are being prepared at 2 locations – Black Creek Elementary cafeteria and Rock Ledge Intermediate cafeteria. The meals are prepared and distributed solely by food service employees, who normally work in school cafeterias at different locations across the district.
Meals are prepared by staff on Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings before being handed out to parents 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Menu options vary day-to-day and all meals adhere to USDA nutritional guidelines. An example of a breakfast could include a banana, yogurt and cereal. A lunch option might include an apple, a chicken patty with salad and crackers.
Staff arrives at 6 a.m. to prepare the lunches and breakfasts for the 600 orders to fill. Seymour School District Superintendent Laurie Asher said, “We started at only 450 and it grew from there.”
Considering each staff has to prepare two meals per person, they are making 2400 bags to send out on Mondays and Wednesdays, and 1200 on Fridays.
Asher stated that additional volunteers are not needed at this time.
In order to comply with distancing procedures, food service workers are the only workers involved in the program, and are preparing lunches at different work stations in different rooms.
“We want to maintain safety both for families in the community and staff preparing lunches,” Asher said. “And we know we need our staff, so we are following the guidelines to keep everyone safe and healthy.”
The food service workers received praise and encouragement on Facebook from district families. A Seymour community mom wrote, “I had two happy kids today! They loved going on our ‘adventure’ to go get lunch!” Another community member wrote, “Thank you for feeding the children of our community.”
Shiocton school has a similar program. Superintendent Nichole Schweitzer said “Plans are also developing regarding the provision of meals to children ages 1 – 18. The District is planning to provide “grab & go” bags for breakfast and lunch. Students are able to pick up meals at the school; the district is looking into meal delivery options.”

Food service workers prepare and pack lunches.