2020-04-01 ssl-childnutrition

The Sandite Nutrition Team's Donna Adams, left, and Patricia Wesley are providing free breakfast and lunch at six different sites during the COVID-19 virus outbreak. Courtesy of SANDITE NUTRITION

Sand Springs schools might be closed due to the COVID-19 virus, but that isn’t stopping the Child Nutrition Team for doing their jobs.

“We’re still feeding kids,” said Sherry Pearson, Sand Springs Schools Child Nutrition Director. “The Child Nutrition Team will do whatever it takes to feed our kids.”

Sand Springs started feeding kids 18 and under on Monday, March 23 and Pearson said they will continue to feed kids as long as they have the resources, and it looks like they will have the resources for a while.

Pearson said the school is using the “Seamless Summer Option,” a Federal meal program that encourages more School Food Authorities (SFAs) already participating in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) and School Breakfast Program (SBP) to provide meals in low income areas during the traditional summer vacation periods and during school vacation periods longer than 10 school days for year-round schools.

"The work our child nutrition team is doing represents the heart of our Sand Springs team," said superintendent of schools, Sherry Durkee. "We are determined to strive to meet the needs of our students."

The nutrition team creates meals, buys the food, prepares it, serves it, and then sends reimbursement claims to the state department, and the state department cuts the federal checks to the schools.

When Pearson and her team found out there would be school closures, they immediately sprang into action and started going through the school’s food inventory.

“We started going through our inventory and creating menus,” Pearson said.

On the first day of operations, the team provided 361 breakfasts and lunches, and there were even more the next day.

There are six sites in the school system that provides the meals. Limestone, Clyde Boyd Middle School, Garfield, the Central Ninth Grade Center, Charles Page High School, and the Early Childhood Center are all sites to pick up meals from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. There are hot and cold options for breakfast and lunch.

The meals are for anyone 18 and younger and they don’t have to be enrolled at Sand Springs to take advantage of the free service.

“I have a great staff with the Sandite Nutrition, and we will do everything we can to feed kids,” Pearson said.

​Kirk McCracken 918-581-8315