SEK School Districts teaming up to provide meals amidst closures

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SOUTHEAST KANSAS — The coronavirus has shut down schools across the nation, but it has brought two rival districts together.

How are these Southeast Kansas schools helping their community during this time of uncertainty?

Labette County School District and Parsons School District are providing kids with meals while school is out.

The goal is to keep their students fed, as being educators means your impact lasts farther than just the classroom.

With schools across Southeast Kansas closing for coronavirus concerns school leaders are helping to feed their kids even while classes aren’t in session.

Lori Ray, Superintendent, Parsons School District, said, “Yesterday in the pouring down rain we fed 100 kids breakfast, so and about 265 in at lunch so I think that shows that there is a need.”

Labette County School District and Parsons School District are teaming up to provide kids with these meals.

The program is open to all students throughout the area that may need food or have food uncertainty during this time.

Annie Smith, Teacher, Guthridge Elementary, said, “All we think about when school gets cancelled like are they going to be able to eat today? Are they going to be ok? How are they doing? It’s very important.”

And being an educator means your job can extend outside the classroom.

Especially during times like this.

Shane Holtzman, Principal, Labette County High School, said, “School is so much more than academics now. And we’re family, we provide social-emotional aspect to a lot of these kids. And it’s a lot more than academics now so this is just an extension of that.”

When it comes to competition, both districts may be rivals, but they can set aside their differences to reach a common goal.

“There’s a rivalry when we play ball, or when we play some kind of activity but that’s not what this is all about. This is more than that. This is about taking care of all our kids and we want to make sure all of our kids, no matter where they go to school have plenty to eat when we’re not in school,” said Ray.

“There’s great people in Parsons just how there’s great people here in Labette county, and we all just want to do what’s best for kids,” said Holtzman.

Both districts will continue to provide meals throughout the week to students via curb side delivery at school and bus stop locations.

However, the week of Spring break, food will not be provided.

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