On April 2, 2020, Tammy Schiff, the Chief Communications Officer of Jeffco Schools, brag Tweeted that Jeffco Schools was serving 13.000 meals a day to kids. In the context of the Tweet, that sounds like a large number, something to be proud of.
However, there’s much more to the story.
First of all, those 13,000 meals consisted of breakfast and lunch for 2 days, in essence 4 meals per person. That means that Jeffco schools was only serving about 3,300 students a day.
Yet, Jeffco has approximately 25,000 Free and Reduced Lunch students in the District. That means Jeffco is really only serving about 12% of the eligible FRL population.
I don’t think that is something to be especially proud of.
I think that Jeffco can do better in getting meals into the hands of the kids who need them.
Here’s a suggestion: Make the meals easier to get for kids and families who might have transportation problems. Ramp up meal production, either at the current facilities or by opening more. Then use District buses, and currently being paid idle drivers, to take meals to each school complex in the District for distribution. And, if this hasn’t happened already, ensure that each kid’s parents are personally contacted to make them aware of this.
Once the District implements this, then Tammy will be able to Tweet that every kid’s parents were personally contacted, meals are more widely available and in all likelihood, she’ll have an even bigger number to talk about.
Set an example for other Districts to follow.
Note: After initially writing this, Denver Public Schools implemented something similar. Denver now has 60 distribution points, many mobile from buses. Jeffco has a mere 12.