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Delivering food to Mon County’s students

Write this down:

Put it in your phone, even.

That’s the site you’ll need to visit, if you haven’t already, to sign up for breakfast and lunch provided by Monongalia County Schools for the duration of the COVID-19 lockout.

Meals again went out Thursday after the service was suspended by the district following Gov. Jim Justice’s stay-at-home order earlier.

Volunteers took over the effort led by Justin Byers, the owner and operator of Morgantown’s Bartini Prime restaurant.

Thursday went smooth, save for one big exception, he said.

“We ran out of meals,” the restaurateur said.

“That’s why we really need people to sign up at the Feed Mon Kids site. We don’t want to turn anyone away.”
More than 1,500 meals, five apiece of breakfast and lunch, were packed and delivered to 16 locations across the county.

Thursday’s fare included beef bean burritos, calzones, French bread pizzas, toaster pastries, breakfast bars and more — plus milk and juice.

“It’s a challenge,” said Brian Kiehl, the district’s director of child nutrition services.

“You want that variety for the kids. You have to have a nutritional balance,” he said.
“Meals have to be able to go in the oven or microwave. This isn’t like what we make in the kitchen and serve in the cafeteria.”

The deliveries will be part of the district’s landscape for now.

Justice closed schools through April 20 as cases of the virus begin to mount.

Kiehl and Byers praised Thursday’s volunteers and Mon Board of Education President Ron Lytle did, too.

“They did a good job and I really want to thank them,” Lytle said.
“Justin and Brian, too. Justin stepped right in. He knows how to get things done.”
Lytle echoed Byers in stressing

Once you sign up, he said, you won’t have to again.

“You’ll be in the system,” he said.

And being in the system, Byers said, is where families whose children rely on meals from school cafeterias want to be — while their buildings are closed.

“Please, please go to that website,” he said.

Kiehl, meanwhile, was already at work on next week’s menu.

Meals will go out every Thursday while students are away from school.

Byers told him to plan for 2,500 meals next time, he said.

So goes the meal plan, Kiehl said.

“It’s our job to get these kids fed. And that’s what we’re gonna do.”

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