Eating outside, picking up food at drop-off sites; lunchtime will be different for Polk County students

COVID-19 is changing the way kids are going to eat when the new school year begins. The Polk County School District just unveiled its new procedures aimed at stopping the spread of the coronavirus.

Cafeteria workers are required to wear a mask, gloves and socially distance when they prepare food. Half of the meals will be served on campuses, the other half will be sent to drop off sites across the county for e-learners to pick up.

“We are going to make sure that everything is wrapped or packaged with a lid,” to prevent contamination, Jenna Kaczmarski, director of food nutrition, announced during a virtual press conference on Friday.

Kids, who will also be required to wear a mask, will be socially distanced in the lunch line, and will no longer be able to sit where ever they want.

“Some of them might be assigned to eat in the cafeteria. Some might be assigned to an outdoor eating space, if weather permits,” she said. “Many may end up eating in their classrooms as well.”

Between lunch sessions, staffers are being instructed to wipe down anything students have touched.

Along with their routine back to school food handling refresher course, cafeteria workers are undergoing special training on COVID-19.

Classes in Polk are scheduled to resume August 24.