FREEHOLD – Amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and the closing of schools, the Freehold Borough K-8 School District Board of Education has approved an emergency purchase of 6,500 shelf-stable, to-go lunches for district students.
On March 16, board members acknowledged that Assistant Superintendent of Business Joseph Howe issued a purchase order for 6,500 lunches from Whitsons Inc.
Each lunch costs $3.65, for a total purchase of $23,725, according to district administrators. Each lunch is shelf-stable, meaning it does not need to be refrigerated.
The district’s action follows the World Health Organization’s recognition of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) as a pandemic on March 11.
As a result of the pandemic, Superintendent of Schools Rocco Tomazic announced in a message dated March 14 that Freehold Borough pupils would enter into a period of virtual instruction, scheduled to begin March 17, during which the students will be taught at home through their Google Chromebook laptop computers while the district’s buildings remain closed.
The order of lunches was intended to assist students on free/reduced lunch during the virtual instruction period. Tomazic explained that eligible students would receive a card and would be able to pick up their food at the Park Avenue Complex beginning March 17.
“Our goal is to give (students) food to be consumed one day and enough shelf-stable food for the next day,” the superintendent wrote. “This will cut down on the need to come in each day.”
Board members authorized Howe to make additional purchases as needed to supply students with breakfast and lunch during the virtual instruction period.
And, board members authorized district administrators to donate any unused food items nearing expiration to Fulfill, a food bank serving Monmouth and Ocean Counties, if that organization has use for such items for immediate distribution in its network.