With the University of New Mexico and Albuquerque Public Schools both on a three-week break, many students and faculty with children need meals to fulfill the hunger once provided by the schools.
In New Mexico, all public K-12 schools have closed for three weeks, as mandated by the Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham. Students who had previously relied on school lunches are now at home during the day, while their parents must leave for work.
APS has announced a “Grab & Go” meal program for students. Meals can be picked up at one of 89 schools from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. beginning March 16. The list of participating schools can be found on the Albuquerque Public Schools website. The student must be present to receive a meal.
Presbyterian Hospital is continuing its free meal program for children during the coronavirus pandemic. The program feeds children under 18 at various locations including Presbyterian Kaseman Hospital and Presbyterian Santa Fe Medical Center.
Amanda Schoenberg, communications specialist for Presbyterian said that, due to the rapid pace of new information about the Coronavirus, people should continue to check Presbyterian’s Facebook page for updates.
For those living on campus during the extended spring break, “UNM Dining Services has the ability to arrange the delivery of meals as needed” according to the UNM Coronavirus guidance page.
Lisa Lindquist, program manager for LoboRESPECT which handles the Lobo Food Pantry, told the Daily Lobo that the food pantry will be operating as usual during this outbreak. Lindquist also said that the pantry is able to open “on-call as needed” should the need arise, and that the LoboRESPECT website will be regularly updated with information regarding the outbreak. The food pantry is open from 10:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Mondays and 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. on Thursdays and available to any students with a current Lobo ID.
Eateries around campus have shifted to modified spring break hours as of March 17. According to a story post on the UNM Food Instagram, La Posada will be open from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m., from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., and from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. daily until April 6. The Market in the SRC Commons will be open from 10 a.m to 8 p.m. daily until April 6 as well.
According to a COVID-19 updates page on the UNM Food website, food service will be shifted from self-serve to service by the La Posada team to prevent cross-contamination.
Amanda Gerard, UNM Food operations manager, told the Lobo that there is not currently a food shortage, and that La Posada is still operating “as an all-you-care-to-eat facility and do not have a limit on consumption for students.”
Gerard also said that UNM Food is planning to “[expand] upon the original Spring Break hours to better serve the residential community beginning...Tuesday, March 17th.”
Students with questions or concerns about campus meals are encouraged to contact @UNMfood on social media.
As the COVID-19 outbreak spreads across the nation and state, federal measures are being taken to ensure that civilians receive enough food.
On a national scale, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Families First Coronavirus Response Act which expands food stamp benefits for the duration of the national emergency.
The bill also ensures free COVID-19 testing and paid emergency leave, according to a press release from the House Committee on Appropriations.
In New Rochelle, New York, the National Guard was deployed to distribute food to citizens within a “containment area.” New York Governor, Andrew Cuomo described New Rochelle as “the single most troubling area in the state.”
Liam DeBonis is a freelance photographer at the Daily Lobo. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @LiamDebonis