CHICAGO (CBS) — With schools closed due to the coronavirus pandemic, districts are doing all they can to get meals to those in need.
CBS 2’s Marissa Parra was there Tuesday as some parents began picking up their packets, as some parents began picking up their packets.
The roughly 400,000 students from the Chicago Public Schools were not in school on Tuesday – leaving parents from low-income families wondering, what now?
“Homework packets for the rest of the month, I guess,” said D’Angelo Smith, the father of a student. “Doesn’t look like much, but they’ll get what they get.”
Smith waited in line Tuesday outside of Brunson Elementary School. He spent his lunch break to make sure his daughters have something to eat.
“I’m a painter, and I have to divide my time now because my kids aren’t in school,” he said
With fresh paint still all over him, Smith thumbed through the homework packets he will be giving to his two seventh-grade daughters on Tuesday.
“It’s hard for me to do what I need to do for work, because I’ve got to run back and make sure they’re taken care of,” he said.
The Illinois School Board is pairing up with food banks and schools to offer breakfast and lunch to families who need it – allowing them to take up to three days’ worth at a time.
“We got burgers in there for lunch; we got nuggets, cereal bars,” said school cook Michelle Williams.
Those items, for a lot of parents who spoke to Parra off camera, are what will keep a lot of Chicago kids from going hungry.
“When the kids aren’t home, you don’t have to spend as much money because they’re in school – but when they’re at home, finances are different,” Smith said.
One thing that someone at home can do with the kids is take them to one of the 18 public parks that are still open in Chicago.
“Just to have an outside space where they can run around is huge,” said Chris Dorsey.
And it’s free – a key point to be made for the low-income families that make up roughly 70% of the CPS community.
“Tough situation, tough time – you got to buckle, down I guess,” Smith said.