School food services will be considered critical infrastructure under Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s “Stay Home, Stay Safe” order, according to an announcement from the governor’s office on Monday.
“Gov. Whitmer is committed to ensuring that Michigan students have access to the food they need during the COVID-19 pandemic,” Press Secretary Tiffany Brown said in a statement. “Under the governor’s executive order, K-12 school food services are considered critical infrastructure and should continue.”
Whitmer closed all K-12 school buildings in Michigan on March 12 in an attempt curb the spread of the coronavirus. The order applied to public, private and boarding schools. Schools are currently set to reopen on April 6.
Shortly after, the Michigan Department of Education published a map outlining places where students who rely on school food services to eat could find meals.
The meals, served under the Unanticipated School Closure Summer Food Services program, are available to all children at no cost. Children between ages zero and 18 may be served up to two meals a day. The program is also available to students with disabilities between the ages 18 to 26 with an active individual education program.
“The governor deeply appreciates the vital work that our frontline school employees are doing every day to ensure that our kids have the food they need while the order is in effect,” Whitmer said.
As of Tuesday, Michigan has more than 1,700 confirmed cases of the coronavirus and 24 deaths, according to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.
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Jordyn Pair is a reporter with Battleground State News and The Michigan Star. Follow her on Twitter at @JordynPair. Email her at [email protected]