Monroe public schools still feeds students throughout the week

Horacio Coito, left, manager of Sodexo, prepares lunches inside the kitchen at Jockey Hollow School. To the right, one of his staff members sets up bags of food to go. Contributed

MONROE, CT — Families continue to drive to Jockey Hollow Middle School to pick up free breakfast and lunch prepared by Sodexo throughout the week, helping to feed their children at a time when budgets are tight.

Acting Superintendent of Schools Joseph Kobza said the district receives more reimbursements per meal in the school lunch program. He recently told the Board of Education participation has been high with 1,458 breakfasts and 2,414 lunches prepared last month.

“It’s a wonderful program,” Kobza said. “People are eating and it also increases our reimbursement rate.”

“Some people might not have money for the food,” Masuk Assistant Principal Mark Schwarz said of those taking advantage of the program, “and it’s a convenient way for families to feed their children, while they’re busy working at home.”

Schwarz said the meals are free for all school age children. “It’s for anybody who signs up, not just for those on free and reduced price lunches,” he added.

Pickups are Monday through Friday from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., but sign ups must be

Arrows point the way to pickups in Monroe Public Schools lunch program. Contributed

done in advance. Schwarz said applications are typically sent out by Central Office on Fridays and requests must be in by Sunday afternoons, so Sodexo knows how many meals will be needed.

In addition to the pickups at Jockey Hollow, Schwarz said high school students, mostly seniors, volunteer to deliver meals around town for those who cannot pick theirs up.

Horacio Coito, manager for Sodexo, oversees the operation, working with Kerri Swift of the Monroe Community and Social Services Department.

Schwarz said Swift makes sure teenagers know where to go, while making deliveries and ensures they have the proper gloves and masks.

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