CORRECTION: A previous version of this article incorrectly stated that the deadline for placing orders is Thursdays at 2 p.m. The deadline is actually Tuesdays at 2 p.m.
Students may be out of school due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but that doesn't mean they'll go hungry.
All kids ages 1-18, regardless of where they attend school, can get free food at South Heart School during the pandemic.
"We’re providing meals one week at a time because of our location and the distance that people have to travel to the school," said South Heart Superintendent Calvin Dean. "We felt that doing it on a daily (basis) would be really cumbersome for them."
The school provides a menu each week, and people can choose which breakfasts and lunches they want from the list.
"It’s similar to the menu that we would provide during the school year, but obviously it’s simplified and we tried to pick items that can last the week because we’re doing weekly meals - things that could easily be refrigerated and reheated, things that aren’t going to immediately spoil in a couple of days," Dean said.
Orders are to be placed via phone or email to Dana Urban at (701) 677-5671 or firstname.lastname@example.org by 2 p.m. Tuesdays.
The following day, families can pick up their meals between 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. at the school's door #2.
The program is no cost to the school thanks to the United States Department of Agriculture, which issued two waivers that allowed the school to participate.
"Typically you only qualify as a school if you’re in a low poverty area or 50% or more of your students receive free and reduced lunches," Dean said. "That’s one of the waivers that the department of education has done. Basically during this pandemic, all schools are eligible to participate in this program."
The second waiver deals with the time of year.
"Typically this is only done during the summer months. The waiver is now they’re allowing us to do it during the school closure. Typically, South Heart has never qualified for this program, and therefore we’ve never provided meals in the summer," Dean said.