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

Saint Nick's Eggnog

  • 6 large EGGS
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 4 cups whole milk, divided
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 12 cinnamon sticks for garnish
  1. BEAT eggs, sugar and salt in large heavy saucepan until blended. STIR IN 2 cups milk.
  2. COOK over low heat, stirring constantly but gently, until mixture is just thick enough to just coat a metal spoon with a thin film and temperature reaches 160°F, about 15 minutes. Do not allow to boil. REMOVE from heat immediately.
  3. STIR IN remaining 2 cups milk and vanilla. REFRIGERATE, covered, until thoroughly chilled, several hours or overnight. 
"This is the day which the Lord has made, Let us rejoice and be glad in it." Psalms 118:24