Pandemic Provisions

The Pick-Up and Go Meal Program strives to help those in need in our community

Stella Grist, Assistant Copy Editor

In the time of COVID-19, there are many organizations helping the community in many ways. Shawnee Mission School District’s Pick-up and Go Program serves meals to students in the community. 

“The US Department of Agriculture provides us with funding, we get reimbursed for the meals we are able to serve through this program,” assistant superintendent and chief of support services Christy Ziegler said. “During summer time, we actually have a number of schools that open up and provide meals in the summer for students to come and get a meal. Then, COVID-19 started spreading. We realized when the schools closed that a lot of students rely on the schools for meals, but the US Department of Agriculture set some restrictions and allowed some summer meal programs to open up early.”

The Pick-up and Go Program distributes meals two days a week at four pick up locations. 

“On Mondays and Wednesdays, anybody with children 18 and under can come to one of the meal sites,” Ziegler said. “We serve from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. On Monday, they pick up two days worth of breakfast and lunch meals for every child in their family and on Wednesdays, they pick up three days of breakfast and lunch. Comanche Elementary, Rosehill Elementary, Shawanoe Elementary, and Hocker Grove Middle School.”

Although it is funded by the US Department of Agriculture, the program still accepts some donations. 

“There are regulations on what can be accepted for food distribution,” Ziegler said. “Any business wanting to inquire would reach out to the Director of Food Services.  If we can’t accept the donation we direct patrons to other organizations in the metro where the food items can be used in the community. Given that our program is funded through the USDA, I would encourage anyone interested in donations to support the Shawnee Community Services Food Pantry.”

Another reason they limit donations is avoiding possible exposure to COVID-19.  

“We do get lots of calls and requests for people who want to do really nice things, like they wanna include notes in the meals,” Ziegler said. “We have not allowed that not because we are trying to be unkind, but we are also trying to be really cognizant. Limiting the amount of opportunities for exposure, given that we are dealing with a pandemic here.”

Pizza Hut, one of the district’s partners, provided the program with free pizza on Monday, Apr. 27. 

“ can provide us free pizzas for families that come through the meal site,” Ziegler said. “They are one of our partners in the district, so we were able to do that. We gave out over 375 free pizzas from Pizza Hut today for families that came through two of the sites.”

If you are unable to donate, Ziegler urges families to reach out to their building principals.

“One of the things that has been awesome for our families in our community is sometimes we do have families that struggle with transportation and getting kids to a site,” Ziegler said. “We would encourage any family in need to reach out to their building principal or their social worker and let them know… Our parents and families have offered, ‘Hey I’m going to pick up food for my student, my kids, my family, if I can pick up and drop off to another family that might have transportation …’ That can be a good way for families that might be interested to reach out to your building principal and let them know, so principals can match families, so that everybody can get what they need.”

The Pick-Up and Go program is a great organization for those in need during this time of crisis.  

“It’s great that we can offer it to the community and it’s also awesome that we get from the US Department of Agriculture to reimburse us for the food costs,” Ziegler said. “We just want our students to be taken care of and to get what they need.”