The student news site of Hopkins High School

COVID-19 set to impact more than health

March 13, 2020

As COVID-19 continues to emerge across the U.S. and in Minneapolis, HHS has begun to consider the ethics in temporarily closing its doors. 

The underlying problem? The countless students across the district who will lose their access to sustainable meals. 

According to the Minnesota Public Health Data Portal, HHS had 415 students on the free lunch program and 134 students on a reduced lunch program, out of 1,604 students total. 

In turn, this equals out to roughly 26 percent of HHS student reliant on free lunch, as well as 8.4 percent of students relaying on reduced lunch programs. 

Although through state data shows HHS students having mid-low eligibility status for free and reduced lunch, closing schools will inevitably be effect students, as about 33 percent will go without a sustainable meal. 

In addition to this, the district sent out an email to parents and students in which pertained to how many student may be in need of extra support from schools, if they were to temporarily shut down. 

The Royal Page reached out to Barb Menchura, Director of Nutrition & Lifestyle Services, for additional commentary, but was left with no response. 

This email included a link to a survey, in which asked specific questions relating to what would be most helpful to students. The last question discussed how beneficial a school provided lunch pickup system would be. If this was implemented for students during a school shut down, lunch pickup times and locations would include Alice Smith from 10:00 to 10:15 a.m., Eisenhower/XinXing from 10:30 to 10:45 a.m., Gatewood from 11:00 to 11:15 a.m., and Hopkins High School from 12:00 to 12:15. 

If moving towards to-go meals such as these, the student’s meals would be charged to their district meal accounts, according to the student’s eligibility status for free or reduced lunch. 

In terms of the meals themselves, the will be required to be eaten off-site of where they are being distributed, as well as their start times remain uncertain, as Hopkins has no concrete plans to close down. 

For coronavirus updates on closures, procedures and Hopkins protocols on this matter to follow.

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