CHICAGO (CBS) — For safety reasons, Chicago Public Schools suspended its grab and go meal service for students Monday.
Many Chicago chefs have been providing meals for students and their families since the COVID-19 pandemic started. Now, because of the protests, one of those chefs can’t provide the meals for those in need.
CBS 2’s Suzanne Le Mignot has her story.
Chef Latrice McArthur provides 1,200 CPS students and their families with dinner every week. Since Saturday, she hasn’t been able to make deliveries.
In a video, a CPS student jumps for joy because Chicago chef Latrice McArthur has brought a week’s worth of dinners to her and her family.
Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, McArthur’s non-profit organization, “Wellness With Bella” has been providing dinners for 1,200 CPS and charter school students from 22 different Chicago-area schools. The Obama Foundation recently recognized her for her efforts.
Since the George Floyd protests, she hasn’t been able to deliver meals. Since Saturday.
“We can’t in good conscience send our delivery drivers out. So we are regrouping and trying to see what we can do, to help our students,” McArthur said.
She said her students and their families often go to bed hungry at night without the meals she delivers.
“The situation is so volatile from one moment to the next,” McArthur said. “And unfortunately, that means that our families that have become dependent on us during this quarantine are not going to be receive their meals.”
The children receiving the meals are part of McArthur’s after school program, where they receive dinner and learn about the importance of healthy eating.
Another casualty because of the violent protests, the temporary closing on Monday of CPS grab and go meal sites.
“Out of an abundance of caution, this decision was made. I made the decision and I think it’s the right decision,” said CPS CEO Janice Jackson.
The sites allow families to pick up three days worth of meals, for each child in their home.
“I wouldn’t be able to live with myself if something happened to a student or a family member while they were going to get food,” Jackson said.
Jackson hopes the resources being deployed in the city, the program will resume Tuesday.
McArthur said she hopes things return to normal soon too. She’s concerned, because many of the grocery stores in the communities she serves are now closed, as a result of looting.