Smart Intermediate School in Davenport.

Students from many Iowa schools were supposed to return to class from Spring Break today, but the coronavirus pandemic now means that many thousands of them will only be stopping by school for meals.

Connie Dobbels , Supervisor of Food and Nutrition Services in the Davenport School District, says students can now pick up sack breakfasts and lunches Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m.  “They are completely drive-through,” Dobbels says. “We don’t want anyone to come into our buildings. These are not congregant meal sites so it has to be a pickup or a drive-through.”

Meals are being distributed at six satellite locations in Davenport for the next three weeks — possibly longer. Enrollment in the district is about 15,000 and Dobbels says on a normal day, her staff serves about 10,000 children.  “It’s amazing the community support,” she says. “We are receiving donations from restaurants and companies to help feed the students and the children throughout the Davenport community. It’s just overwhelming when you see the community really coming together to help.”

Pickup locations in the Davenport area include the DLC-Keystone Center, Buffalo Elementary, and Sudlow, Williams, Smart, and Wood schools. Children must be present to receive the free meal, which includes a sack lunch and breakfast for the following morning. Davenport is following the governor’s recommendation to rely on distance learning until April 13th.

(By Herb Trix, WVIK, Rock Island/Davenport Schools photo)