On Friday, March 13 the Food Services Department at Manistee Area Public Schools was charged with quickly organizing a program to feed students during the unplanned shutdown. Due to their previous participation with the Summer Feeding Program, they had the tools in place to mobilize a plan which allowed them to start serving meals Monday through Friday, beginning Monday, March 16.

During the first week, as word got out that food was available, the number of students fed each day grew. By Friday, when they planned to distribute enough food to make meals available through the weekend, they served over 1,700 breakfast & lunch meals.

None of this would be possible without the dedicated team of individuals that answered the call when Keri Carlson, Food Services Director shared her plan. Her small but mighty team of Carol, Laura, Terri, and Jennifer (pictured below) work tirelessly each day to meet the demand.

“Serving our community is wonderful and sometimes tearful. Everyone has been so kind and thankful when they come to pick up meals. We have some that pick up for their own children, grandchildren, coworker’s children, neighbor’s children, and we see some children by themselves coming.”, shared Carlson. “There is no way we could do this without this team. I also want to extend my appreciation to Don Olk, who has been transporting food from Kennedy to MMHS which enables us to keep working as he replenishes our stock and Andy Huber who has been out with us each day passing out meals.”

Our MAPS family expresses our gratitude to all of the individuals that are making this crucial program possible. Through the support of the Michigan Department of Education, they have created a sustainable model that will allow them to continue this effort for our community as long as it is needed.