School Districts Roll Out Free Meal Program During COVID-19 Closure

With Iowa's schools facing a minimum of three more weeks of closure, area districts will be offering free meals to students during the COVID-19 pandemic.

On March 15, Gov. Kim Reynolds, after consulting with the Iowa Department of Public Health, recommended Iowa’s public and private school districts suspend all classes as well as all scheduled club meetings and events, including spring sports, practices and competitions for four weeks.

In the following days, the state has closed all bars, restaurants, gyms, community centers and public places. All public gatherings are also limited to 10 people. The self-quaranting and social distancing precautions are designed to help control the spread of the virus that has killed more than 400 and infected 35,000 more nationally. Iowa currently has more than 100 confirmed cases of COVID-19 as of Monday. None have been reported in Mills County.

Classes at the Glenwood Community Schools, the East Mills Community School Districts and Fremont-Mills Community School Districts held its final day of classes on March 16. All three districts have said they will not re-open until at least April 13.

In light of the closing, Glenwood, East Mills and Fremont-Mills are offering free food programs to all students with the assistance of the Department of Agriculture’s Seamless Summer Meals Program.
Glenwood’s Nutritional Services Department is providing drive-up or walk- up meals for families at two sites: Glenwood Middle School and West Elementary School. The sites will be open Monday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the at the front doors of both locations.

Children must be present in order for meals to be provided and families will be given a number of meals based on the number of children in the car age 18 or younger. The meals will include lunch for that day and breakfast for the following day. Meals cannot be consumed on site.

In Malvern, East Mills will provide breakfast and lunch for students who request them at pick-up stations in each of the district’s four communities in Emerson, Hastings, Henderson and Malvern. For families who cannot reach one of the four locations, other arrangements can be discussed by calling the school district at 712-624-8645 or by emailing

East Mills will be offering pick-ups of one week of five breakfasts and five lunches per child. All students and children 18 and younger are eligible. Pick ups are available at the City Light Church in Emerson, the Hastings Community Building, the Henderson Community Building and at the high school in Malvern. Each location will be open 11 a.m. to 12 noon.

Fremont-Mills is offering free pick up of meals at three locations. They will hand out meals in Tabor at the high school, at the Randolph Presbyterian Church and the Thurman Methodist Church on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 11 a.m. to 12 noon. Students will receive a hot meal that day as well as a bag of non-perishable meal items for the interim days. For more information or to enroll in the Fremont-Mills meal program, call 712-629-2325.


The Opinion-Tribune

116 S Walnut St Glenwood, IA 51534-1665
PO Box 191 Glenwood, IA 51534-0191
Phone: 712-527-3191
Fax: 712-527-3193

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