NAMPA — With most Treasure Valley schools closed at least through March 27 in an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19, officials from Nampa and Caldwell school districts are finding ways to get food to students from low-income households.
The Nampa School District plans to deliver food to students’ houses Thursday and Friday, and will keep limited operations of some community resource centers while schools are closed. The Caldwell School District is providing free breakfast and lunch for students at designated distribution sites Wednesday through Friday.
Of Nampa School District’s approximately 14,000 students, about 10% qualify as homeless, and even more come from low-income households. Heidi Rahn, federal programs director for the district, said she was flooded with emails Monday from school officials telling her about families that needed food. She estimated district officials will need to deliver food to more than 300 students and their families during the closures.
The district has five community schools, each of which acts as a hub of support for students, families and others in the community. If someone is in need of food, clothing or connections to other resources, they can go to these schools to get help.
Each community school has a resource center that holds the food and other items students and their families might need. The centers at Central Elementary School and Iowa Elementary School will close Friday, but remain open during spring break, March 23-27, Rahn said.
A team of about 100 district employees and volunteers plan to deliver food boxes to students’ doors Thursday and Friday, Rahn said.
The district received large donations from the Rotary Club of Nampa and the Nampa Lions Club prior to COVID-19 cases being confirmed in Idaho, Rahn said. The district also receives food from the Idaho Foodbank. She could not say how long the district would continue delivering food.
“We only have so much food and supplies, and are diligently working to get it to kids and families,” Rahn said in an email.
At the Caldwell School District, where about 250 of the district’s 6,200 students qualify as homeless, spokeswoman Allison Westfall said a team of about 50 staff and parents will distribute breakfast and lunch at several sites throughout the city, similar to the district’s summer food program. Children 18 and under will receive free meals, and adults can purchase meals for $4. Westfall said the district has enough food to provide about 1,700 meals per day.
The Caldwell distribution sites are:
- All elementary schools
- Lewis and Clark: 1102 Laster St.
- Lincoln: 1200 Grant St.
- Sacajawea: 1710 N. Illinois Ave.
- Washington: 2918 Washington Ave.
- Wilson: 400 E. Linden St.
- Van Buren: 3115 Marble Front Road
- Caldwell High School: 3401 S. Indiana Ave.
- Farmway Village by the community center: 22730 Farmway Road
- Hardy Estates — two locations: 3406 Saddlehorn Way #31
- Front office
- Maverik and Sage
- North Fifth Avenue and Galveston Street
- North 14th Avenue and East Elgin Street
- Avon Trailer Park at Summer Drive turnaround
- Manchester Drive and West Beech Street at the park
- Country Village Avenue at the playground
- Mountain View Mobile Home Park: 2819 S. Georgia Ave.
- Indian Creek Estates Mobile Home Park: 5015 E. Ustick Road #84
The district does not intend to distribute meals during spring break, Westfall said, and officials have not developed a plan for food distribution if schools remain closed beyond spring break.
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