In Arizona, hundreds of thousands of children depend on free or reduced breakfast and lunch from schools. The National School Lunch and National School Breakfast programs subsidize meals for school children based on family income.
With Arizona schools closed until at least April 10 due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, schools and districts are scrambling to provide meals to those in need.
The Arizona Department of Health Services website AZ Health Zone, is attempting to keep an up-to-date map of food sources around the Valley. Children and teens ages 18 and younger can each receive one free meal a day from any site; the child or teen must be present to receive the meal.
Here’s what we know about individual school districts:
Chandler Unified School District will offer Curbside Meal Service as long as schools remain closed. Breakfast and lunch will be provided from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Locations: Hamilton High School, 3700 S. Arizona Ave., Chandler (main entrance) and Chandler High School, 350 N. Arizona Ave., Chandler (main entrance).
Gilbert Public Schools is offering pick-up-and-go meal services to all children under the age of 18. Meals can be picked up at the district’s four high schools — Greenfield, Highland, Mesquite and South Valley — as well as Harris and Meridian elementary schools. Breakfast can be picked up from 7:30-8:30 a.m., and lunch will be available from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Mesa Public Schools will make lunches available from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. weekdays at district elementary schools. Each lunch comes with a breakfast item for the next day. Drive-through or walk-up service is provided.
Queen Creek Unified School District will offer grab-and-go breakfast and lunch curbside from 10 a.m. to noon weekdays at the Boys and Girls Club of the East Valley, 22557 S. Ellsworth Road in Queen Creek. These meals are free to all Queen Creek students ages 18 and younger.
Scottsdale Unified School District is offering meals for pick-up from 9:30-11 a.m. weekdays during school closures. Each child will receive one breakfast and one lunch. Children need not be enrolled in the district or approved for the free and reduced meal program to receive meals. Scottsdsale distribution sites include Navajo Elementary, 7501 E. Oak St.,; Tavan Elementary, 4610 E. Osborn Road; Yavapai Elementary, 701 N. Miller Road; and Tonalea K-8, 6720 E. Continental Drive.
Buckeye Elementary School District has breakfast and lunch available by drive-through at the Buckeye, Jasinski and Inca campuses from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m.
Dysart Unified School District has grab-and-go breakfast and lunch from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m. at El Mirage Elementary School, 13500 N. El Mirage Road, El Mirage; Kingswood Elementary School, 15150 W. Mondell Road, Surprise; Dysart High School, 11425 N. Dysart Road, El Mirage; Willow Canyon High School, 17901 W. Lundberg St., Surprise; and Shadow Ridge High School, 10909 N. Perryville Road, Surprise.
Glendale Elementary School District will offer to-go breakfast and lunch curbside from 9-11 a.m. Families do not need to register for meals, and there are no income requirements.
Litchfield Elementary School District is offering grab-and-go breakfast and lunch on weekdays. Times vary.
Alhambra School District will distribute breakfast and lunch to go until students return to school. Check the district website for distribution sites.
Isaac School District will serve breakfast and lunch for the duration of the school closure. Breakfast will be served from 8-9 a.m. Lunch will be served from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Pendergast School District will provide breakfast and lunch fat the entrances to school cafeterias from 7:30-8:30 a.m. and from 10 a.m to noon. Meals also will be distributed along district bus routes at 7:30 a.m. and 10:30 a.m.