school lunch

School districts across Jefferson County are offering free meals to make sure students who rely on school meals have food to eat while schools are closed because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Most schools closed March 18 and will remain closed at least until April 27.

Following are details about the various meal programs at the county’s 11 public school districts:

Crystal City

The Crystal City School District is providing “to-go” meals for students that include both a packaged lunch and a breakfast for the following morning. Students must be present and provide their name when families pick up the meals.

Meal pickup is from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Monday through Friday at the cafeteria back door at the elementary school, 600 Mississippi Avenue. Families are instructed to enter the school property from Mississippi Avenue and proceed to the back of school.

Those picking up meals are asked to stay in their vehicles and a staff member will deliver the meals to them. Families may walk to the school to pick up the meals, but they may not stay at the school to eat.

Families are asked to call the cafeteria each morning to request meals. The number is 636-937-2005, ext. 2044. Those who do not have transportation may call the number and arrangements may be made for families to get meals.

For those who participate in the Helping Hands program, representatives from the program will be at the meal-pickup area on Fridays to distribute “backpacks.”

For more information, call the cafeteria at 636-937-2005, ext. 2044.

De Soto

The De Soto School District is distributing meals to families with children younger than 18. The meals may be picked up between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. Monday through Friday at either Vineland Elementary School, 650 Vineland School Road, or Athena Elementary School, 3775 Athena School Road.

Each of the meals includes a lunch and breakfast. They are available to any local families, not just those who live in the De Soto School District.

To get meals, drive up to a stop sign at the pickup area, hold up your fingers to indicate how many meals you need, and then pull around to the back of the school where your meal will be waiting on a table for you to pick up.

For more information, call 636-243-2566.


The Dunklin R-5 School District is offering meals for students whose families register for them. Meals include a lunch and breakfast.

Buses are used to deliver meals on Monday through Friday, beginning at 9 a.m., dropping them off at assigned times and bus stops.

In addition, families may pick up “grab-and-go” lunches from 9-11 a.m. Monday through Friday at the cafeteria door at Herculaneum High School, 1 Blackcat Drive.

For more information, call Nichole Arnold, food service director, at 636-479-5200, ext. 1015.


The Festus R-6 School District is offering sack lunches and breakfasts to district students. The lunches may be picked up between 10 a.m. and noon Monday through Friday outside the Festus Elementary School’s upper cafeteria near Sunshine Drive. Participants need to register online by going to the district’s website at and then clicking on the meal pickup program link.


The Fox C-6 School District is providing “to-go” lunches for those 18 and younger who need them. The meals will be available from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Monday through Friday at Fox High School, 751 Jeffco Blvd., in Arnold, and at Seckman High School, 2800 Seckman Road, in Imperial.

A package lunch for the day, as well as breakfast for the following day, will be provided to students, who must be present and provide their name and student ID number. To sign up go to the following link:


At the Grandview School District, buses deliver meals to bus stops in the afternoon. The meals include dinner and breakfast for the next day. Families must sign up for the meal-delivery program. A parent or teenager or older child must be at the bus stop around their normal afternoon drop-off time to receive the meals. Delivery times may change as needed. To sign up or for more information, call the Central Office at 636-944-3941, ext. 6,


The Hillsboro R-3 School District is offering “to-go” meals for students. The meals, which include a lunch and breakfast, may be picked up between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. Monday through Friday in front of the Intermediate School, 10478 Business 21.

Families must sign up for the service, and students must be present and provide their name to receive the meals. To sign up or for more information, contact Kim Jackson, director of food service, at or 636-789-0002.

Jefferson R-7

Jefferson R-7 families with children 18 and younger may sign up to have meals delivered at an assigned bus stop on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Those who sign up for the meals will be assigned a specific time to pick up the meals.

Those who can’t make those times may pick up meals between 5-5:30 p.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays outside Telegraph Intermediate School, 1625 Dooling Hollow Road, south of Festus. Look for the bus, which will be parked near the pickup area at the side of the building.

Those who want to sign up for the meals may fill out a form at For more information call, 636-933-7940.


The Northwest R-1 School District provided “grab-and-go” lunches for students 18 years and younger from March 18-March 20, until spring break began. The service will resume Monday, March 30, after spring break ends. Meals include a packaged lunch for the day as well as a breakfast for the following day. Students must be present and provide their names when families pick up the meals.

Pickup is offered Monday through Friday at Maple Grove Elementary, 7887 Dittmer Ridge Road, in Dittmer; Valley Middle School, 4300 Gravois Road, in House Springs; and Brennan Woods Elementary, 4630 Brennan Road, in High Ridge.

Students whose last names begin with the letters A through L may pick up meals from 11 a.m. to noon, and those whose last names begin with the letters M through Z may pick them up from noon to 1 p.m.

“The service will be set up drive-thru style, with one sack lunch per child in the car,” according to the district’s Facebook page.

The district’s grab-and-go meals are simple ones, consisting of items like turkey and cheese sandwiches, apple chips or crackers for lunch, and a doughnut or muffin and milk for breakfast.

Families must sign up for the meal program by going to this link:

Siblings who are too young to go to school may also receive the meals.

During the district’s spring break, New Hope Fellowship Church in High Ridge is filling in, offering sack lunches for children 18 and younger. Church volunteers gather on the parking lots of each of the three schools to distribute the lunches from 11 a.m. to 12:45 p.m..

“Making sure Northwest students get fed is important,” said Jessica DiPaolo, the district’s director of administrative services. “We know there is a need. Some of our families rely on us for feeding their children breakfast and lunch.”

DiPaolo encourages anyone who knows of a family who needs meals to send the name to her at

“I have volunteers who will deliver,” she said.

The district has been serving about 250 students a day through the meal program, DiPaola said.

She said the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education will reimburse the district for some of the cost of the program.

“What this financially will look like in the end depends on how long this goes on,” she said. “It really wasn’t on our radar, but we knew it was the right thing to do.”


The Sunrise School District, which enrolls students in kindergarten through eighth grade, “has been in communication with known families in need and has taken the steps to coordinate food support during this break,” the district reported. “Food is being delivered weekly to the homes or coordination is taking place for a meeting location. We want to ensure to meet the needs of our entire community.”

The De Soto School District is providing meals to Sunrise students.

Those who have not been receiving meals and need help may contact Katy Weible at or 636-586-6660, ext. 141.


The Windsor C-1 School District also set up a way for families to pick up breakfasts and lunches, if they need to.

Before spring break, between March 18 and March 20, families could pick up a lunch and breakfast for the next day between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. at a location behind Windsor Middle School, 960 Windsor Harbor Road, off of Hwy. 61-67 in Imperial.

Beginning Monday, April 3, after spring break ends, the meal program will continue, and meals may be picked up at the following locations and times:

Windsor Middle School, 960 Windsor Harbor Road, in Imperial, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Meramec-Arnold Elks Lodge, 1515 Miller Road, in Imperial, from 11-11:30 a.m.

Jefferson College Imperial campus, 4400 Jeffco Blvd., from 11-11:45 a.m.

Freer Elementary School, 1800 Hanover Lane, in Barnhart, from noon to 12:45 p.m.

Windsor Elementary School, 6003 Fifth St., in Kimmswick, from noon to 12:45 p.m.

The district asks those picking up meals to remain in their cars, and staff will deliver food to the vehicles.

“We had 46 (meals served March 18), and I assume those numbers will continue to grow,” Windsor assistant superintendent Jeff Buscher said. “We will take it as it comes and make it the best we can for our community.”