While the beginning of the school year continues with online-only instruction, Marietta City Schools will provide a new option for students to receive school meals.

Beginning next week, Marietta schools will allow families to pick up student meals at Marietta High School, according to an email sent to district families on Thursday.

The new drive-thru meal pickup option will be available in addition to the current meal delivery system offered by Marietta City Schools. Beginning Monday, district families can pick up meals — breakfast, lunch or both — from 7:30 to 8:30 a.m. at Marietta High School. To pick up meals at the high school, families will drive through the bus port behind the Marietta Performing Arts Center, remain in their car to collect meals and then check out with a cashier.

“All MCS students (PreK – 12) are able to pick up meals at this location,” Director of School Nutrition Cindy Kanarek Culver said in the email to families. “Please note that information including the student’s name, ID/lunch number, and school must be provided at pick up.”

Marietta City Schools will continue to deliver meals to students across the district, a program that began on the first day of school on Aug. 4, according to spokesperson Jen Brock. The district sends buses on 19 different routes to specified meal delivery locations from Marietta Sixth Grade Academy, Marietta Middle School and Marietta High School. Delivery locations include apartment complexes, hotels, parks and more, and details can be found online at marietta-city.org/mealdelivery.

Both meal pickup options will be available next week, but their end date is currently undetermined. In a statement to the MDJ, Brock said the drive-thru pickup option is a pilot program, and the district will evaluate how many families use it and how often. The meal delivery program will continue at least until a majority of district students are learning in face-to-face classes, Brock said.

“It will continue during Phase I of our plan,” Brock said of the meal delivery. “Once we have (a) large number of students participating in in-person learning, we will evaluate and determine how best to provide meals to our students. As with everything we do, we are continually discussing and evaluating to best meet the needs of our families.”

The district projects phase one of its reopening plan to begin Tuesday, Sept. 8.

Students do not have to be present to pick up meals from Marietta High School or other meal delivery locations. Families must come prepared with their student name, identification or lunch number and school name to pick up meals.

The district is offering meals at their regular rates. Students who are eligible for free meals can pick up those meals at no cost. Students who are eligible for reduced-price meals will pay $0.30 for each breakfast and $0.40 for each lunch. All other students can pay $1.80 for breakfast and between $2.50 and $2.70 for lunch.

To apply for free and reduced-price meal benefits, visit mariettacity.strataapps.com.

Families can submit payments online through MyPaymentsPlus, Culver said. Cash payments will also be accepted, and any change will be added to the student’s account.

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