SHERIDAN, Ark. — The past 12 months have arguably been some of the most tumultuous for students and their families, but the one thing Sheridan School District students haven’t had to worry about is where their next meal would come from.
Sheridan School District staff and foodservice partner Chartwells K12 have worked tirelessly to safely prep, cook, pack and distribute meals to children within the community.
"We served more than 750,000 meals to children within the community during the past 12 months," said Tiffany Reed, director of dining services for Chartwells K12 at Sheridan School District. "One reason we have been able to serve so many students is that we offered a delivery option for families who were not able to pick up meals in our drive-thru. Volunteers from the Grant County Ministerial alliance and Grace Church in East End have been instrumental in making sure we are able to serve all children in need of meals by delivering food boxes to their homes."
The district has not only provided free meals on instructional days, but also provided free meals through the summer months, holiday breaks, weekends and Spring Break. Funding for the meals has been made available to school districts through waivers granted through the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
“I don’t think any of us knew quite what to expect when schools shut down last year,” said Jerrod Williams, Superintendent for Sheridan School District. “While it’s been difficult, the silver lining of this pandemic is that it showed us what an incredible community we have here. Our teachers, staff, parents, volunteers, and foodservice team, came together and focused on feeding kids and supporting our community, and for that, we are so grateful.”
Since the onset of the pandemic, Chartwells K12 has worked with Sheridan School District and thousands of other schools to ensure students across the country do not go hungry. Every day, more than 16,000 essential food service workers have been dedicated to keeping “lunchtime” a bright spot during an otherwise uncertain time. To date, Chartwells K12 has served more than 275 million meals during COVID-19.
“Our number one priority is making sure we are feeding kids and keeping them happy and healthy, no matter where they are,” said Reed. “As more students return to school, we’re prepared to serve them safely and for those who stay home, they can depend on us for their next meal.”
Sheridan School District and Chartwells K12 are providing free meals for students at school and remote for the remainder of the academic year and into the summer months. For more information and to stay up-to-date on meals, deliveries and more, please visit SheridanSchools.org.
About Sheridan School District
The Sheridan School District serves more than 4,100 students and consists of eight campuses located in Sheridan and East End. Its mission is to provide students with a safe and rigorous educational environment, empowering them to become lifelong learners who are responsible, contributing citizens. Learn more at www.SheridanSchools.org.
About Chartwells K12
Chartwells K12’s goal is to make sure students leave the cafeteria happier and healthier than they came in, by serving food kids love to eat and creating custom dining programs. With more than 16,000 associates in 4,500 schools, ranging from large public institutions to small charter and private schools, Chartwells K12 is built on decades of food, education and operational experience driven by top culinary, nutrition, wellness, and sustainability talent. For more information, visit www.ChartwellsK12.com.