Erica Schumacher smiles despite frigid temperatures Monday morning as she single-handedly serves much-needed meals to local families at Stocktrail during the first day of district’s free to-go food service for kids during school closures due to COVID-19.
Despite the brisk 36 degree morning, Erica Schumacher, food services production manager with the Campbell County School District (CCSD), stood smiling beside a two-tier food cart filled to the brim with paper bags stuffed with breakfasts and lunches outside of Stocktrail Elementary School Monday morning.
Schumacher, who normally works at Campbell County High School making the food for all the other schools in the district, began to-go food service for children 18 and under this morning at 9 a.m as part of the district’s free meal program for kids during school closures.
Today would normally be the first day back for students after spring break, which was extended an additional two weeks due to spreading COVID-19 concerns in Gillette.
“I’m getting a lot of ‘thank you’s,’” Schumacher said with a hopeful grin. “If we can alleviate just some of the stress for some of the families in our community, that means a lot.”
By 9:20 a.m., just 20 minutes after beginning service, she had already distributed 65 meals to 35 kids.
“They each get a breakfast and a lunch,” she said. “No questions asked.”
Schumacher shielded her eyes against the bright morning sun and looked on as a car drove off and out of the Stocktrail parking lot.
“We’re helping,” she said, assuredly.
Meanwhile, across town at Pronghorn Elementary School, lunch ladies Amy Kramer and Stephanie Hicks were also gearing up for service at another one of the district’s free meal pick-up locations.
“Everybody is happy and grateful so far,” Kramer told County 17 as a family of five approached the pop-up table filled with countless meals stuffed inside crisp, clean brown paper sacks.
“We don’t know if or when food shortages might become a problem,” a grandmother of four said. “I made them all get up and come get breakfast (and lunch).”
On the menu today, a packaged baked item, fresh fruit, milk carton and a V8 drink for breakfast and 6” meat and cheese sandwich with condiments, fresh veggies, a side and milk for lunch.
Children 18 and under can pick up meals from 9 a.m. to noon at Hillcrest Elementary, Pronghorn Elementary, Stocktrail Elementary, Prairie Wind Elementary, Cottonwood Elementary and Rozet Elementary schools.
Meals may not be consumed on-site and kids must be present to receive meals. The program is open to all children 18 and under regardless of whether they are a student.
For more information about the CCSD’s Nutrition Services Department to-go meal service program, click here.
Parents with questions can contact CCSD Food Service Manager Bryan Young at (307) 682-7247 ext. 1901 or firstname.lastname@example.org.