By Linda Dillman
Canal Winchester students are returning to school for 2020-21 under a hybrid learning model and, while their academic needs are being met virtually and in-person, their nutrition needs can only be met in-person.
In a sense though, the district’s meal plan is also operating on a hybrid basis—both in the buildings and via take-out.
“For students who are not in the building, we will be delivering meals to any students who signs up for meals and on Tuesdays and Fridays, they will take home food at the end of the day,” said Tammy Heading, Canal Winchester Schools’ director of dining services. “The food service department employees will deliver meals on Wednesdays as well as hand out on Tuesdays and Fridays. We are working out a schedule for bus stop delivery or possible home delivery.”
According to Heading, meal pick-ups will be available on Wednesdays at 11a.m. to noon, with a second pick up at 4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. at the high school, Indian Trail Elementary and middle school.
Food service workers will ask for the student’s name and school when they pick up meals. The information will then be cross checked against a roster to verify the student’s information.
Currently, if a family chooses to pick up meals or have them delivered, students will be charged accordingly. The regular cost for a breakfast is $1.50 and $2.50 for an elementary lunch and $3 for a secondary lunch. The reduced price for a breakfast is 30 cents and the cost for lunch is 40 cents.
“Our program has been hugely successful and at the peak of COVID-19 closure, we were delivering approximately 1248 breakfast and 1248 lunches per day,” said Heading. “It declined in June and July to approximately 600 of each per day and still in August we are serving around 500 to 600 per day.”
During the 2018-19 school year, the district’s cafeterias served 53,178 lunches and 12,000 breakfasts.
While families can pay for their student’s meals with cash or a check made out to Canal Winchester Schools, they can also access the district’s EZPAY website link where they can pay school fees and add money to their student’s lunch accounts with a debit/credit card from a computer or Smartphone.
There is a convenience fee of $2 per transaction that will be charged along with the credit card payment. Parents can access the EZPAY link on the front page of the district website. First time users will need an email account and their student’s ID—lunch number—to set up an account. It takes 48 hours or two business days for funds to post to the account.