HANNIBAL | With Hannibal schools closed as a coronavirus precaution, students who are hungry will benefit from a meal program provided by the school district in partnership with Douglass Community Services.
The outreach effort, which will kick off on Monday, March 23, will feed children up to 18 years old, or under 21 years with disabilities.
“We are going to provide each day (Monday through Friday) a breakfast and a lunch. Douglass is going to provide a snack and a supper,” said Rich Stilley, school district business manager, during Wednesday night's meeting of the Hannibal Board of Education.
Children need not be present for a parent to pick up meals, nor do they need to be enrolled in the Hannibal School District.
“We have reached out to the Holy Family and St. John's communities because we wanted to make sure they knew that this wasn't just for Hannibal public school students, this will be for them as well,” Superintendent Susan Johnson said.
The family does not need to participate with the free or reduced meal program to receive meals at this time.
On Friday, March 27, Hannibal Alliance for Youth Success will have buddy backpacks ready for distribution to anyone who would like food items for the weekend.
The meal program will benefit more than youngsters.
“We are going to utilize food service (personnel) to prep the meals. We will also bring in our three-hour folks who are on timesheets to make sure they can still receive compensation,” Stilley said. “It is really the right thing to do, not only with food service but transportation (personnel).”
“We are really working hard to make sure that no one is going to be losing their income as a result of this (school district shutdown),” said Johnson, adding that teacher aides and people still in their 30-day probationary period will also be utilized in some capacity. “They may not be doing the job they were hired for, but they are still going to have a job where they can still earn their income.”
This is not the first time that DCS has worked to feed Hannibal's hungry youngsters.
“For us, this is something we have been doing year round,” said Stephanie Cooper, DCS' executive director. “We have had a great partnership with the Hannibal public school district throughout the school year.”
Cooper is pleased DCS is a part of the effort to feed children who might otherwise go hungry with schools closed.
“We think this is an excellent opportunity for a number of us to join together to make sure our children are taken care of in a time of crisis,” she said.
The meal program has the full support of the Hannibal school board.
“I think it is great,” said Mark Bross, board member. “I think it will be tremendous for our community. That (providing food for students) is one of the big questions that a lot of people have.”
“I think it is absolutely great what you guys (district administrators) have done,” said Michael Holliday, board member. “It is fair to recognize Douglass and everything they are going to do.”
Holliday applauded the fact that the food is being provided youngsters at no charge.
“I know there have been a couple of districts who have tried to charge a little bit on what they are offering,” he said. “The fact we're going to try and do this for free for our community and our kids is the way it should be in times like this.”
School district buses will be used to deliver the meals to 22 locations throughout the school district.
The following sites will serve as delivery points:
• Intersection of Big Creek Lane and Route HH - 11 a.m.-noon
• Intersection of Janapas Trail and Ideal Villa Place - 12:15-1:15 p.m.
• Oakwood Elementary School, 3716 Market St. -11 a.m.-noon
• Intersection of Rt O and Flint Hill Road -12:15-1:15 p.m.
• Antioch Baptist Church, 59621 Antioch Lane - 11 a.m.-noon
• A.D. Stowell Elementary School, 700 Fulton Ave. - 12:15-1:15 p.m.
• Intersection of Route T and Oakhill Road - 11 a.m.-noon
• Embassy Christian Center, 600 North St. -12:15-1:15 p.m.
• Intersection of Monkey Run and Hwy 79 - 11 a.m.-noon
• Hannibal Public Library, 200 South 5th St. - 12:15-1:15 p.m.
• Intersection of Saverton West Road and Route E - 11 a.m.-noon
• Eugene Field Elementary School, 1405 Pearl St. - 12:15-1:15 p.m.
• Calvary Baptist Church, 4605 West Ely Road - 11 a.m.-noon
• Intersection of Mo. 168 and County Road 404 - 12:15-1:15 p.m.
• Clover Road Christian Church, 785 Clover Road - 11 a.m.-noon
• Mark Twain Elementary School, 2800 Bird St. - 12:15-1:15 p.m.
• Intersection of Munger Lane and Country Meadows Lane (Northside) - 11 a.m.-noon
• Hannibal Transportation Center, 2365 Warren Barrett Dr. - 12:15-1:15 p.m.
• Hannibal High School Auditorium parking lot, 4500 McMasters Ave. - 11 a.m.-noon
• Intersection of North Section Street and Mark Twain Avenue (Ayerco 22) - 12:15-1:15 p.m.
• Intersection of Shawnee Trail and Atoka Street (closest to Munger Lane) - 11 a.m.-noon
• Intersection of Starlight Ridge and 29th Street (mailboxes) 12:15-1:15 p.m.