CINCINNATI — On Wednesday, the first route of Cincinnati Public Schools' new food trucks began, bringing meals to students who rely on them to communities, so challenges with transportation don't prevent any student from getting the food they need.
"So this is the first day we're doing mobile food trucks at 10 locations across the city," said Jessica Shelly, director of student dining services at CPS.
It's the district's newest way to make sure students get the meals they need even while cafeterias and schools may still be closed during the pandemic.
"We want to make sure our kids are fueled up and ready to learn, whether they are in the classroom or at home," said Shelly. "We know nutrition plays a huge role in that."
Until now, families had to go to a CPS school building to pick up their free, weekly meal packets for kids, but the district said transportation became a barrier to access for many families across the city.
"We know sometimes our families don't have transportation to our school sites," said Shelly. "So we wanted to make sure we're bringing the food sites to them."
The district has two food trucks, which will drive to different neighborhoods on Wednesdays, adding 10 additional locations families can visit to get access to the meal packets.
"Well, I'm hoping we're going to be bringing our kiddos back as soon as possible, but until we do we'll be out here serving meals," said Shelly.
CPS plans to continue using the food trucks to drop off food as long as the district remains in a remote learning model. The school board and superintendent plan to meet on Saturday to examine recent data and try to determine whether the district can move to any level of in-person learning soon.
The trucks will be at the following sites on Jan. 13, 20 and 27.
- 9–9:45 a.m. — Shadymist Apartments, 5890 Shadymist Lane, 45239
- 10–10:45 a.m. — Colerain/Bahama Terrace, 5498 Bahama Terrace, 45223
- 11–11:45 a.m. — Hawaiian Terrace, 5126 Hawaiian Terrace, 45223
- Noon–12:45 p.m. — Bethany House, 3924 Yearling Court, 45211
- 1 p.m. - 1:45 p.m. — Aspen Village, 2703 Erlene Dr., 45238
- 9–9:45 a.m. — Findlater Gardens, 595 Strand Lane, 45232
- 10–10:45 a.m. — Silver Oaks, 5670 Winneste Ave., 45232
- 11–11:45 a.m. — Winton Terrace, 4848 Winneste Ave., 45232
- Noon–12:45 p.m. — Millvale Apartments, 2269 Millvale Court, 45225
- 1–1:45 p.m. — Stanley Rowe Towers, 835 Poplar St., 45214
Since March 17, the CPS Student Dining Services department has served 2.6 million meals.