On March 23, 2020, Missoula County Public Schools started serving meals to all youth under 18 in the community. One of the most critical services MCPS provides is nutrition. According to Communications Director Hatton Littman, they are delivered meals on all of their elementary school bus routes.

“We also have four schools that are open from 10-1, Monday-Friday, and anybody in the community can drop in,” Littman said. “Your student doesn’t have to go to one of those four schools. If you are 18 or younger, or you are picking up a meal for somebody who is 18 or younger, you can go the Chief Charlo, Lowell, Hawthorne, or Russell to pick up meals.”

Hatton wanted to give a special thanks to the MCPS Food and Nutrition Services Department and to their partners at Beach Transportation. She said all the meals are in individually packaged bags.

“Every single bag has a breakfast and a lunch in it,” Littman said. “On Fridays, we hand out special bags of weekend extended food support. Those are called EmPower packs. Those come from the Missoula Food Bank and the Montana Food Bank.”

If members of the community want to lend a helping hand, Hatton said there are two organizations that could really use it.

“People can donate to the COVID-19 emergency relief fund at the United Way of Missoula County,” Littman said. “We know that those funds are going back into the community to our families and to our students to help them get by. The second place you can help is by making financial donations to the Missoula Food Bank. We know that every one of their activities ends up supporting our school district’s families and students.”

MCPS served almost 21,000 meals from March 23 to March 31. That is more meals than they served in the entire summer of 2019.

In the first four days of meal service in April, they served about 14,000. Hatton said the district will continue to serve meals as long as schools remain closed.

For more information, visit the MCPS website right here.