Changes underway for student meals in Seminole County as schools prepare to reopen

Red Apple Dining handed out more than 830,000 meals in 5 months

SEMINOLE COUNTY, Fla. – Red Apple Dining, the dining service function of Seminole County Public Schools, ended its curbside free meal service for families Thursday, in order to prepare for the scheduled Aug. 17 reopening of schools.

Since Mid-March, Red Apple Dining handed out more than 830,000 boxes of breakfast and lunch, served with a side of simpler times.

Deborah Dillon serves as the dining manager at Lawton Elementary in Oviedo and explained how they’re preparing between now and schools reopening.

"We have a lot of training in regards to sanitizing," she said. "Every school has their own challenge depending on size. [Students will sit] in every third seat, all children facing one direction. As they come in, they have to maintain six foot separation and they have masks on until they sit down to eat."

Updated numbers from Seminole County Public Schools still show quite a few students plan to opt out of face-to-face learning, at least for the beginning of the fall semester.

District leaders said the latest numbers include those who hadn’t made a choice but have since been default-enrolled for face-to-face learning. Here’s a breakdown of how many students are enrolled in each learning option:

Total Students: 63,080 (Charter and other not included in count)

Face-to-Face: 27,816 (44%)

Seminole Connect: 18,654 (29.57%)

Save My Seat! Virtual: 9,654 (15.3%)

Hybrid: 6,370 (10.1%)

Transfer to Virtual: 578 (0.92%)

In addition, schools are also contacting families to ensure they want face-to-face as their default decision.

For those learning at home, the kitchen will not close.

✨ Your student(s) may qualify for breakfast and lunch at no charge! 💻 Visit http://www.SCPSMealApp.com to apply...

Posted by Red Apple Dining on Monday, July 27, 2020

“It’s not going away completely, it’s just relocating,” Dillon said.

Some schools in the county will continue to host drive through food pickup for those who receive meal benefits.

"In addition, we will have meals ready and prepared for those who optioned to do remote learning," Red Apple Dining communications specialist Kaylyn Akeley said.

SCPS students may qualify for breakfast and lunch at no charge during the school year. Families in all learning choices are encouraged to apply if there is a need. Parents/guardians can visit http://www.SCPSMealApp.com to apply today.

About the Author: