MASSENA, N.Y. (WWNY) - The number of families coming to the 21 schools being helped by the St. Lawrence-Lewis BOCES system for free curbside meal pickups has dropped drastically.
Meanwhile, many believe the need may be as big as ever.
The pickups can provide up to 14 meals per child. It started when schools shut down for COVID-19 while the snow was still flying.
Families were picking up 100,000 meals per week back then. Since then, the low-income requirement for the program has been eliminated.
“You have to remember at that time also there were a lot of people out of work. There were so many uncertainties. The families' own personal economies were being wrecked,” said Artie Frego, St. Lawrence-Lewis BOCES food service director. “We’re hoping that we see more and more families come now that it’s all free for everybody.”
About 53,000 meals are being picked up by families now. But BOCES officials say they can still serve up 100,000 meals if need be.
Here is the list of participating schools in the tri-county region:
- Sackets Harbor
- Brasher Falls