Free school lunches available to all students beginning tomorrow

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ROCHESTER - Rochester Schools Supt. Kyle Repucci announced today that free breakfasts and lunches for all Rochester students will be available for either daily pick up or delivery starting Thursday. The meals will remain available throughout the remote learning period, which ends Jan. 19.

The transition to remote learning, which begins tomorrow, was made after the district was informed several individuals throughout the district tested positive for COVID-19.

Due to this abundance of recent positive cases and the necessary self-quarantining procedures, the district is unable to support in-person services and will transition to fully remote learning out of an abundance of caution and to protect the health and safety of all members of the school community.

Families who wish to receive meals are asked to fill out this survey and will be able to specify if they wish to pick up the meals or have them delivered via the district's bus routes. This survey only needs to be filled out once per family and will be housed under the Food Service tab on the district's remote learning website.

Meals for Wakefield students who attend Spaulding High School will be available as well at Paul Elementary School in Wakefield. Wakefield students who wish to receive meals must call the Wakefield School District SAU offices at 603-871-8502 to confirm their need.

Meals will be available for pick up at all Rochester schools Monday through Friday from 7-9 a.m. Families may pick up meals for all of their children at the closest Rochester school and do not need to be picked up at the specific school students attend.

Meals will also be delivered via the district's bus routes to families who are unable to pick up their meals at a school. The stops and times will be the same as when school is in session, and students should pick up their meals at their normal pick up times. To view the available bus routes and locations, click here.

Should a family miss a meal pick up, daily meals can be picked up at the First Congregational Church, 63 South Main St., Monday through Friday from 5:15 to 6:15 p.m.

Meals for the weekend will be available on Friday. School meals will not be available on holidays or during school vacations. The district has created a Food Resource Guide, which contains information about additional food services available for Rochester residents, to assist families during those times.

"During these challenging times, we are proud to be able to offer this service for families so that they have one less thing to worry about over the next few months," Repucci said. "Thank you to all those who worked quickly and efficiently to set this program up to coincide with the start of the remote learning period so that meals could remain available for students."

Though meals will remain free for the remainder of the school year, families are encouraged to reapply for the free or reduced meals program if they have not already. The program provides additional benefits for families, including reduced or waived fees for academic tests and college applications. Data from the program is used to determine what funding should be provided to the district as well.

For more information about the free and reduced lunch program, as well as the application, click here.

Anyone with questions related to bus deliveries should contact Bus Operations Manager Carrie Morin at 603-509-2904.

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