Meal bundles have become a common way to serve students throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
Last spring, the Chartwells K12 team at Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools (WS/FCS) in Winston-Salem, N.C., took its 7-day meal bundles a step further by creating its own themed versions.
The team decided on four different themes: American Classics, Italy, South of the Border Chicken and South of the Border Beef.
“When we sat down to plan the things in these meal bundles, one of the key focuses was to ensure that we included items that were their students’ favorites while they were in school so they could still enjoy them while at home,” says Resident District Manager Alicia Crews.
Each bundle contains individual ingredients that parents and kids can assemble into dishes at home. The South of the Border-themed bundles, for example, include black beans, corn, brown rice, cheese and tortillas. Recipe cards are also included, but parents and students are free to come up with their own recipes.
Response from the bundles has been positive from not only parents and students, who said they enjoyed getting to spend quality time in the kitchen, but also from the community at large.
“We had a lot of community folks that were, especially during the pandemic, really concerned about students and their ability to get food,” says WS/FCS Chief Communications OfficerBrent Campbell.
While many students will be returning for in-person school this year, the meal bundles will still be offered. “We do have a population that is going to be attending virtual academy so we will continue to offer these meal bundles to meet the regulations for this school year to those virtual academy students,” says Crews.