Food Services and Wellness Update

September 2020

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Pick up a free meal box every Wednesday starting Sept. 9

As of Aug. 31, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has extended the free meals program into the 2020-21 school year. This means all children ages 0 to 18, plus our students who attend Community Transitions, will continue to receive free meal boxes. You will no longer need to provide a name or PIN at pickup. This is late-breaking, great news and differs from the informational meal flyer you received in the Family Handbook and Calendar mailing.

We encourage all families to pick up a free box of 14 meals and support our food services program and the Good Food Project in Bellingham Public Schools, as well as our local community. In every week’s box, we will provide a scratch-made entrée out of our Central Kitchen with ingredients sourced from local farms when available. Now is a great time to bring the school cafeteria into your home with these meals. By picking up a box, you will keep farmers in business, district staff employed and families fed.

Every Wednesday starting Sept. 9, boxes will be distributed from 4 to 5:30 p.m. at 15 school locations and six community locations.

The school locations are as follows:
Alderwood Elementary School, 3400 Hollywood Avenue
Birchwood Elementary School, 3200 Pinewood Avenue
Carl Cozier Elementary School, 1330 Lincoln Street
Cordata Elementary School, 4420 Aldrich Road
Geneva Elementary School, 1401 Geneva Street.
Happy Valley Elementary School, 1041 24th Street
Northern Heights Elementary School, 4000 Magrath Road
Roosevelt Elementary School
, 2900 Yew Street
Wade King Elementary School, 2155 Yew Street Road
Fairhaven Middle School, 110 Park Ridge Road
Kulshan Middle School, 1250 Kenoyer Drive
Shuksan Middle School, 2717 Alderwood Avenue
Whatcom Middle School,
810 Halleck Street
Bellingham High School, 2020 Cornwall Avenue
Sehome High School, 2700 Bill McDonald Parkway

The six community locations are:

Evergreen Ridge Apartment Complex, 3451 Woburn Street;
Regency Park Apartment Complex, 2050 Fraser St.;
Sterling Meadows Apartment Complex, 512 Sterling Drive;
Sudden Valley Community Center, 8 Barn View Drive;
Villa Santa Fe Apartment Complex, 804 West Bakerview Road; and
Bakerview Mobile Park, 4015 Eliza Avenue

The Central Kitchen will be providing a scratch-made entrée with every meal box this fall. The Sept. 9 menu includes a Hempler's hotdog with chili or a chickpea curry masala as a vegetarian option.

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Families should still apply for the free and reduced price meal status for the 2020-21 school year.

Families should apply for free and reduced priced meals online as we start the school year. It is unclear how long the USDA funding for free meals will continue. Go to bellinghamschools.org/food-services for the Letter to Household which gives the income guidelines and a link to the online application.
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Apply now for Pandemic EBT: Deadline is this Friday, Sept. 11!

Families have until Sept. 11 to apply for the Pandemic EBT food assistance program. Apply online at www.WashingtonConnection.org (choose “Pandemic EBT — Emergency School Meals Program” box in the Food Assistance section) or call the DSHS Customer Service Contact Center at (877) 501–2233. Language translation is available.
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Food Bank has some updated locations.

While the free district meal boxes are designated for students, the Bellingham Food Bank continues to offer weekly boxes for families and adults. Their COVID-19 era operations are changing slightly next week. They will no longer be distributing at Civic Field after Sept. 10. A new location at BHS will be added to Thursdays, from 1 to 4 p.m. To find out more, visit their website.

September is Suicide Prevention Month: Check out this important information here.

Suicide is preventable and you don't have to be a professional to support someone who might be hurting.


You can call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 24 hours a day, seven days a week, at 800-273-8255. Press 1 for the Veterans Helpline. If you’re under 21, you can ask to talk to a peer at Teen Link at 1-866-TEENLINK between the hours of 6-10 pm or (206) 461-3210 during regular business hours. Don’t feel like talking on the phone? You can start a text conversation with the Crisis Text Line by sending “HEAL” to 741741.

The Big 4 for Wellness will be integrated into health, physical education and counseling this fall.

You may remember some of the work completed around self-care and wellness in the spring 2020 pandemic closure. Some of this foundational work will be integrated into social emotional learning as we move through the school year. Stay tuned for more information as we move into the fall. If you would like to revisit some of the Big 4 for Wellness activities, these are still available on our website. These might make great breaks for families during remote instruction. Visit at bellinghamschools.org/self-care.
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