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Free school lunches feed 100 students during closure

Allie Smith takes her sack lunch from a district employee Wednesday in the Granby Elementary School parking lot. East Grand is providing free lunches to all students in the district.
Amy Golden / agolden@skyhinews.com

Allie Smith, along with her two brothers and mom, walked through the Granby Elementary School parking lot when two of her friends spotted her and shouted her name.

The children sprinted at each other, arms spread, and someone’s mom reminded them, “No hugging!”

Allie hasn’t been to school this week, just like every other student in Grand County.  She said she was enjoying being out of school, but according to her mom, Cassandra Smith, her daughter wasn’t totally happy when school was canceled.

East Grand lunch locations
  • Times and places subject to change. Check East Grand’s website for the most up-to-date list.
  • Fraser: Fraser Rec Center (11-11:20), Fraser Valley Elementary (11:30-11:50), Wapiti (12-12:20)
  • Tabernash: Fire House (12:30-12:45), Indian Peaks (12:50-1:10)
  • Granby: Granby Jones (11-11:20), Granby Elementary (11:30-11:50), Middle Park High School (12-12:20)
  • Grand Lake: Library (11-11:20), Soda Springs (11:30-11:50)
  • Hot Sulphur Springs: Library (11-11:20), Town Hall (11:30-11:50)

“She’s very education oriented so it was a little disappointing, but she’s adapted very well,” Smith said.

The Smiths along with other families went to the Granby Elementary parking lot as one of 12 locations across the East Grand School District where free lunches were being distributed to students. Smith said having this resource was an asset for her family.

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“They’re helpful,” Smith said. “Especially this time of the week when payday is coming up, we’re always short on food and we rely on the school for that. It’s nice to have this opportunity to help make sure that they get fed and that they get the nutrition they need during the day.”

Smith is not the only parent in East Grand that depends on these resources. According to the Colorado Department of Education, roughly one in four students in East Grand qualify for free or reduced lunch. A big concern for the district as it moved to close in face of the novel coronavirus outbreak was how to continue that support.

Any student in East Grand, regardless of whether he or she qualifies for free or reduced lunch, is able to pick up these lunches. As district employees gave out the lunches, they chatted with students and offered some resources to keep children entertained.

East Grand said it served out about 100 lunches Wednesday. Allie and the other students who stopped by seemed glad to visit briefly with staff and get their lunches.

“I think it’s a great thing so we can get fed,” Allie said, a little bashful.

Grab and go lunches are available Monday through Thrusday at 12 locations in the East Grand District. West Grand is currently on spring break but will be offering a similar program starting next week. Visit the districts’ websites for details and information.

West Grand lunch locations
  • Route 1: Monday and Wednesday
    • 11-11:15 at 6 mile
    • 11:25-11:40 at KCC bus stop
    • 11:45-12 at 9th and Gore stop
    • 12:02-12:17 at Call Ave stop
    • 12:20-12:35 at River Ranch morning stop
    • 12:37-12:52 at 10th & Eagle stop
  • Route 2: Monday and Wednesday
    • 11-11:15 at CR 22 & CR 25 stop
    • 11:25-11:45 at 20th & Central stop
    • 11:47-12:07 at 17th & Central stop
    • 12:10-12:25 at Rayners stop
      12:27-12:42 at Trinity Episcopal Church stop
  • From 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday and Wednesday under the West Grand High School portico, the district and Mountain Family Center will be offering food. Mountain Family Center will provide totes for students and family boxes as needed.

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