US government looks to continue feeding students

McLane Global Logistics chairman Denton McLane, center, speaks about the coronavirus, accompanied by Vice President Mike Pence, left, and Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue, in the James Brady Press Briefing Room, Friday, March 27, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

WASHINGTON — The U.S. federal government is turning to public/private partnerships to keep feeding students in need after the global pandemic forced nationwide school closures.

At a White House press briefing Friday, officials highlighted a pair of private sector-led initiatives aimed at feeding impoverished students who depend on their daily school meals.

McLane Global Logistics Chairman Denton McLane announced that his company, working with Baylor University, Pepsico, UPS and the Post Office, would be delivering pre-packaged meals that last two weeks directly to students’ homes.

He called the initiative “a real game-changer for rural families.”

Panera Bread CEO Niren Chaudhary said his company is launching a partnership with the USDA and Children’s Hunger Alliance to deliver boxed lunches to students across Ohio. He says the goal is to expand the program to other states later.

Districts across the U.S. have been looking for ways to continue feeding students during closures. Some are delivering breakfast and lunch by school bus, while others are asking families to pick up meals at district sites.

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