Sequoyah, Grand View continue meal programs through summer
TAHLEQUAH – Schools around Cherokee County are continuing to serve breakfast and lunches to students via state and national programs so school-aged children up to 18 years old are provided nutritional meals into their summer breaks.
When COVID-19 forced school closures in March, students were able to pick up breakfast and lunches provided by their schools at locations for the remainder of the school year.
Though the last day for Sequoyah High School was May 15, the school was approved to serve breakfast and lunch through the Oklahoma State Department of Education’s Summer Food Service until June 30, Mark Vance, Cherokee Nation Education Services deputy executive director, said.
“Students ages 18 years and younger will be provided breakfast and lunch on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays during this time,” Vance said. “The meals will be served in grab-and-go style following guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and as approved by the Oklahoma State Department of Education.”
He said the program ensures students can have access to needed nutritious meals and that Sequoyah has participated in this program for several years.
“Providing these two meal options for our students helps us meet an important need in our community,” Vance said.
Sequoyah meals are available Monday through Friday at four locations: SHS cafeteria and the CN Court House Square pavilion from 11 a.m. to noon in Tahlequah; Big B’s convenient store south of Stilwell from 11 a.m. to 11:25 a.m.; and Hop-In convenient store north of Stilwell from 11:30 a.m. to noon. Students must be present to receive the meals.
Grand View School is also providing meals to its students into the summer break with the Seamless Summer Option, a program through the U.S. Department of Agriculture Food and Nutrition Service.
“Grand View, like many schools in the area, will continue to serve food throughout the summer and beyond if necessary,” Margaret Carlile, Grand View School federal programs director, said. “Most schools are doing the Seamless Summer (Option) that continues their school program and adds the birth-to-18 (years old) components.”
Carlile said that in addition to the food program, Grand View is providing learning and activity packets for students to use during summer break.
“Grand View is also continuing to provide learning and activity packets, including materials for Cherokee language and culture instruction,” Carlile said. “We are also distributing new books to students as part of a grant that Grand View currently is operating. We also, as have many schools, distributed treats that were donated. We have counseling and resource staff available to our community to help with any needs. We will soon have a Grand View counseling hotline.”
Carlile said though Grand View’s last day was May 8, the school transitioned straight into the Seamless Summer Option program, handing out the equivalent of 10 meals per child, or one breakfast and one lunch for five days, every Monday from noon to 6 p.m. in the school’s back parking lot at the cafeteria loading dock.