Michigan schools to continue offering free food during stay-at-home order

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A cafeteria worker packages hot lunches at Calhoun Elementary School in Calhoun, Georgia on Thursday, March 19, 2020. The city's school district recently shuttered its doors in an effort to slow the spread of coronavirus, but the district's school bus drivers still drive their normal routes to deliver hot meals to an area where 60% of students qualify for free and reduced-price lunch. (AP Photo/Angie Wang)

It’s good news for parents in Michigan that may be experiencing food insecurity during the stay-at-home order. The state has reaffirmed that even during the order it will continue to provide free meals to students that are at home.

There are more than 1,400 sites acting as meal centers for students and you can find ones in your area here.

The full release from the state is below:

LANSING, MICH. School meals will continue to be served to Michigan children throughout the “Stay Home, Stay Safe” order declared by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on Monday, the Michigan Department of Education reiterated today.

“Families will still be able to access meals for their children through this challenging time,” said State Superintendent Dr. Michael Rice. “I thank all of the school employees and volunteers for continuing their commitment to feeding the children of our state.  Ensuring Michigan’s children continue to get the food they need every day is vitally important.”                      

Executive Order 2020-21 directed residents of Michigan to remain at home, prohibiting public and private gatherings among non-family members, and barring non-essential work activities. The executive order took effect at 12:01 a.m. Tuesday.  

The work of food provision is considered critical infrastructure, which is exempted from these prohibitions. In a message released to the public Monday, Governor Whitmer affirmed that she “is committed to ensuring that Michigan students have access to the food they need during the COVID-19 pandemic.” View Governor Whitmer’s full statement here: https://www.michigan.gov/whitmer/0,9309,7-387-90499_90640-522683–,00.html  

The “Stay Home, Stay Safe” executive order makes specific allowances for food and agriculture work to continue. This includes food service operations at schools, childcare institutions and centers, and emergency feeding operations across the state. 

School meals will continue to be provided by school districts currently doing so until further notice. Over 1,400 school meal sites around the state can be found at Meet Up and Eat Up Site Locator Map.

Information around this outbreak is changing rapidly. The latest information is available at Michigan.gov/Coronavirus and CDC.gov/Coronavirus.  

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