Schools continue food services during extended closure

by Derek Brizendine | Daily Star Journal | Apr 15, 2020
JOHNSON COUNTY — When most students throughout the county went on spring break, there was a plan to return to school within a couple days or a week, depending on the length of the school’s spring break.

However, the COVID-19 pandemic put a change in those plans.

Social distancing quickly became a normal phrase in the word bank.

For some schools, the worldwide outbreak of COVID-19 even caused them to cancel their spring break in-person activities, such as the Adventure Club in Warrensburg.

This put some students and families in a tough situation.

Schools throughout the county stated that for some students, school is a reliable source for meals throughout the day.

School districts throughout the county had a timely response.

The districts quickly set up plans for students to pick up meals at school while also limiting contact between the students and the meal deliverers.

With CDC guidelines recommending no more than 10 people in a single setting, schools got creative.

“Fantastic,” Mark Talley, Knob Noster High School AFJROTC senior aerospace science instructor, said of the preparation and delivery of food in Knob Noster. “Wonderful. No complaints. They are all volunteers coming in. They wanted to come in an do this.”

Talley said Knob Noster even had to turn some volunteers away in order to follow CDC guidelines.

Some districts had families drive to the schools to get the food while others used the buses to deliver the meals for those that couldn’t leave the house.

At Knob Noster Middle School, Randy Johnson, Knob Noster High School AFJROTC aerospace science instructor; Jaynee Sader, Knob Noster High School director of food services; and Talley passed out meals on March 25.

The district set up a path for vehicles to pull through the parking lot to get food while also limiting traffic.

As vehicles pulled into the parking lot, Talley would wave them forward.

Windows would then roll down as the driver called out how many students they were picking up for.

“I don’t get to do stuff like this very often and it is wonderful to be able to see the students,” Talley said. “It’s wonderful to see the parents and they are all so appreciative of this effort.”

The driver then either unlocked the vehicle or popped the trunk so that the deliverer didn’t have to make contact with anyone when delivering the food.

Sader, Johnson or Talley would then grab the prepackaged meals and place them in the car.

Along with the meals, Knob Noster even gave each student a dozen eggs.

Rose Acre Farms in Knob Noster donated the eggs.

“They did not have to do this,” Talley said with appreciation for Rose Acre Farms donating the eggs.

Talley said the parents showed great appreciation for getting the eggs considering many stores were sold out of eggs at times.

He credited the entire community for pulling together to donate the meals.

After all the food was safely placed in the vehicles, the next meal delivery date was announced, good byes were said, the windows rolled back up, the car drove off and the next vehicle filled its spot.

Rose AcreTM Recipe of the Month

The Best Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ¾ cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 4 oz milk or semi-sweet chocolate chunks
  • 4 oz dark chocolate chunk, or your preference
  1. In a large bowl, whisk together the sugars, salt, and butter until a paste forms with no lumps.
  2. Whisk in the egg and vanilla, beating until light ribbons fall off the whisk and remain for a short while before falling back into the mixture.
  3. Sift in the flour and baking soda, then fold the mixture with a spatula (Be careful not to overmix, which would cause the gluten in the flour to toughen resulting in cakier cookies).
  4. Fold in the chocolate chunks, then chill the dough for at least 30 minutes. For a more intense toffee-like flavor and deeper color, chill the dough overnight. The longer the dough rests, the more complex its flavor will be.
  5. Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  6. Scoop the dough with an ice-cream scoop onto a parchment paper-lined baking sheet, leaving at least 4 inches (10 cm) of space between cookies and 2 inches (5 cm) of space from the edges of the pan so that the cookies can spread evenly.
  7. Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until the edges have started to barely brown.
  8. Cool completely before serving.
"This is the day which the Lord has made, Let us rejoice and be glad in it." Psalms 118:24