Thanks to a new partnership, Livingston Parish Public Schools families can qualify to have free meals shipped to their homes.
The Livingston Parish Public Schools (LPPS) system has partnered with Baylor University’s “Meals to You” program to provide free meals to students for the duration of the COVID-19 school closure.
Emergency “Meals to You,” a collaboration between Baylor University and the U.S. Department of Agriculture, will ship 10 breakfast meals and 10 lunch meals — a total of 20 meals — on a biweekly basis to students. The shelf-stable, easy-to-prep meals will be delivered by mail and should be enough to last two weeks.
To qualify, LPPS Child Nutrition Supervisor Sommer Purvis said parents or guardians must complete the online registration form. Registration can be completed with a smartphone or any other internet-enabled device.
One part of the online form will ask parents or guardians for an email address, phone number (preferably a cell phone, Purvis said), the parent or guardian’s name, and a physical address. If you live in an apartment, Purvis said it is important to list the apartment number.
The next part of the online form will ask for the number of children a parent or guardian wishes to receive meals. Children can be ages 1-18, as well as anyone up to age 20 who is still enrolled in high school, according to the online form.
Parents will have to list each child’s name, date of birth, and student ID. Purvis also stressed the importance of selecting “Livingston Parish Public Schools” from a drop-down bar when completing the application.
“Make sure to select Livingston Parish Public Schools as your child’s school district, so we can verify their enrollment in the district,” she said.
Online registration is open Friday, March 27, through 11:59 p.m. on Monday, March 30. Those who miss this window will not be able to secure meals through the “Meals to You” program after the application deadline Monday night.
“Once that enrollment process closes, it does not reopen,” Purvis said.
Once families are enrolled, they will receive biweekly boxes until the end of the closure, which in Livingston Parish is currently April 19 (through the school system’s originally scheduled spring break). If the closure extends, only those families already enrolled would be eligible to continue receiving meals through the “Meals to You” program.
Meals are expected to begin shipping shortly after the registration process is completed, Purvis said, noting that there is a 2-3 day window between shipping and arrival.
This is the latest attempt by the school system to feed its children who are out of school due to the novel coronavirus pandemic, which spiked to 2,305 positive cases in 53 of Louisiana’s 64 parishes as of Thursday, according to the Department of Health.
The school system initially implemented a drive-thru service at 14 campuses, but those plans were scrapped after Gov. John Bel Edwards’ statewide “stay at home” order effective through April 12. The school system passed out 14,000 meals on the only day of the drive-thru service.
This week, the school system delivered 6,000 shelf stable meals to children that had been prepared for the drive-thru service, with LPPS employees and volunteers driving to all corners of the parish.
Purvis hopes the “Meals to You” program will be the lasting one.
“We’re glad we were able to get it done,” Purvis said. “Hopefully once it gets started, it will fill that void, especially for those who didn’t have transportation.”
To register for the “Meals to You” program, click on the following link: https://mealstoyou.org/emergency-meals-to-you-application/.