COVID-19 response in Washington State has included statewide school closures. On Friday, March 13th, Governor Jay Inslee announced that all schools in Washington State would close Tuesday, March 17 – Friday, April 24. The Governor called on schools to continue to provide food services to students and families throughout the closure period.
In Ferndale, food distribution began on Friday, March 20th at seven locations throughout the Ferndale School District. A phone hotline has also been established for families who may not be able to travel to the distribution sites.
Holly Graham, Director of Child Nutrition in the Ferndale School District calls the first distribution a success. “Our team prepared 1500 meals and we were able to get those out to families at all of our locations. We look forward to seeing families back next week on Monday, Wednesday and Friday 11:00 – 1:00. Locations will be the same. Our Transportation staff are also delivering meals for families who are unable to travel.”
As schools in Washington State face an unprecedented shutdown, Ferndale School District staff are working hard to create strong ties to normalcy for students, families and staff. Superintendent Linda Quinn says, “This is a strange and difficult time for our community. The disruption that we are all experiencing goes beyond academics and we want to do what we can to be a safe harbor – a constant when everything else may feel a bit unmoored.”
The Ferndale School District has committed to four pillars during the school closure: 1) Nutrition Services; 2) Childcare for medical personnel and first responders; 3) Meaningful work, continued pay, benefits, and leave provisions for staff; 4) Learning plans.
“Our families need us right now,” says Superintendent Quinn. “We are serving our community in new ways during this time but we are serving in the way that meets immediate needs for students, staff and families. We will get through this together. THIS is what Ferndale Pride looks like.”