Local schools to offer free meals to students, despite closures

Local News

ROCHELLE, Ill. (WTVO) — Late last week, Governor J.B. Pritzker closed all state schools for the rest of the month. For some, no school means no guaranteed breakfast or lunch.

Rochelle’s school district is making plans so its students don’t go hungry while staying home.

“I mean it’s for our safety, which is great that the kids are staying home, because they spread a lot of viruses when they are in school,” said parent Claudia Cervantes. “As much as we try to get the kids to wash their hands, it’s kinda hard.”

Students from across the state of Illinois are out of the classroom for the next two weeks.

Cervantes is the mother of three children, and says she’s grateful that Rochelle District 231 is serving meals to all it’s students.

“A lot of parents are not used to having their kids home,” she said. “In school, we send them off and they have breakfast and lunch [there], so we don’t have to prepare a meal for them, to be at home.”

Starting Monday, parents can pull up to the front of Rochelle Middle School to receive food packages.

“I think it just gives us a good way to start off, and I know what to do for the kids when they are home,” Cervantes said.

Fellow parent Brandy Laukaitis said, “I work and I go to school. My school is closed. My son’s school is closed. My work is closed. I’m in big trouble, like so many Americans.”

Struggling parents say having food available for their families gives them a sense of relief, a little comfort to families who may be feeling scared.

“It’s amazing. This town has never let me down, fortunately,” Laukaitis said. “I’m very grateful that I moved here. It’s a great community. We would be lost. I mean, I have the list. I’m going to hit every single food bank this week.”

Rochelle will offer the meals tomorrow and Wednesday as well.

Many local school districts are doing the same. Check with your child’s school for details.

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