The big news that most of you already know is that all schools in Illinois have been closed until March 30. Although the schools will be closed, they are still committing to providing meals to students that are receive free and reduced lunches.
We have already been in contact this week with the food service departments of the Champaign, Urbana, and Rantoul school districts, and will soon be reaching out to the individual schools we serve that aren’t in those districts.
We want to give those organizations time and space to figure out the incredibly difficult logistics of feeding the more than 9500 children that depend on school meals. Once they have finalized their distribution plans, we will adjust our plans accordingly and in coordination with them, in order to make sure the 1000 children we serve continue to receive weekend food bags even during these school closings.
It is important to note that we are fortunate in that we already provided larger bags to the kids for the upcoming spring break so we have extra time to fine-tune the plans we have already begun to develop based on the information the food service departments have given us so far.
Once these plans are finalized and in place, we will send out an update to everyone, especially regarding how we might need help in specific ways from our amazing community of supporters.
Additionally, the Champaign PTA Council has already begun a Google Form sign-up for community members to potentially volunteer for any food distribution services that may need volunteer support. We are also in contact with the PTA Council and will be speaking with them again next week to determine what ways we might need support from their volunteers or vice-versa. – PTA Volunteer Form
We are still planning on maintaining the updated volunteer schedule that was presented in our last post, so please feel free to go to our volunteer page and sign up for an activity.
On a less critical, but still related note, we have decided to postpone our Thank You Event until tentatively Friday, May 8. Analog Wine Bar has been wonderfully understanding and flexible this week, and we look forward to celebrating with them and all of you soon after the current situation passes.
We will likely have another update in the middle of next week after the details for distribution plans have been finalized. This will include any updates to our volunteer plans.
Finally, we would just like to point out that the community response and desire to help these vulnerable children has been absolutely incredible. Thank you for your kindness, compassion, and initiative. That spirit is what will help us all get through the next few weeks!