Grab-and-go lunches help during pandemic


Approximately 300 grab-and-go lunches are provided to the community each day.

Damien Robinson, Reporter

Recently, since the start of the 2020-2021 school year, Morton East has been providing free school lunches to all their students; East is currently doing about 300 grab-and-go lunches daily, according to the school food service manager.

The quality of school lunches has been a huge discussion since the early 2000s, with concerns of health issues for adolescence and portion sizes. According to Harvard Medical School, “working all morning at school burns up a lot of energy, so children need healthy lunches to refuel. Children also need lunch to provide enough energy and nutrients to keep healthy and grow as well as possible.” Nonetheless, many students depended on school lunch as an important daily meal, and schools have continued to serve those in need although schools are now remote.  According to a random survey of 25 Morton East students, all 25 students agreed that schools that have provided lunches have helped students tremendously.

“Being able to grab lunch every day has helped not only me but my family as well, having a big change that COVID has put us through, it is hard for families to supply all three meals of the day,”senior Sanaa Williams said.

Elizabeth Tinken, manager of the food service staff, explained all efforts that went into giving students and their families food during the pandemic.

“The food service staff has been working continuously since March when the lockdown started. At East, through the summer, we fed the community an average of 1800 grab and go meals,”  food service staff manager Elizabeth ‘Betty’ Tinken said.

And, food service and our lunch ladies continue to provide.

“Currently, we are offering meals to be picked up daily at East and Lincoln.  Morton East students have the option of coming daily to pick up lunch or they can choose a 5-day meal pack. The community is welcome to pick up a daily lunch for anyone under the age of 18,”  Elizabeth Tinken said.

Pick up time runs from 10:30 to 1 p.m.  The school also offers supper Monday through Thursday from 3 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.; supper can also be picked up during lunch service. Overall, providing lunches for students has helped families throughout the community in these times of need.