School lunch during a pandemic


Furnishing lunch for kids stuck at home during the pandemic may sound simple, but for remotely working parents it isn’t always. Time to prepare meals for kids, let alone providing activities for them, can be elusive after demanding jobs migrate from the workplace to the home. This isn’t lost on folks in the school system. The West Tisbury School is one of six schools on the Island that offers an alternative to cobbling together kids meals yourself. They’ll do it. 

We live in West Tisbury but our daughter Electra doesn’t go to the West Tisbury School. That wasn’t a problem. My wife filled out an online form and a lunch (and breakfast) was prepared for her. A freebie for a kid just shy of 5-years-old. With Electra fastened in a car seat and new puppy Carolina (or “Moxie” if you ask my wife) curled up in the pickup beside her, we rolled down Old County Road to the school. There was no queue, just one other vehicle in a fairly lonely parking lot. A welcome sign asked that you remain in your vehicle and dial a number. Somebody would then come out.

Soon enough, sixth grade teaching assistant Lauren Grey walked a brown paper bag with handles out to a car parked just ahead of us. Electra was oblivious, engrossed in Peppa Pig on an iPad. I made our call and Grey appeared with our bag. She set it on the pavement next to the pickup truck with a smile and headed back in. With nitrile gloves on, got out, collected it, and put it in the passenger’s seat. Back home in the kitchen, I took out all sorts of food for Electra, two cartons of milk, a muffin, a cheese stick, chicken soup, a sunbutter and jelly sandwich, among other items. She wanted the sandwich first. There is one truth about kids and these kinds of sandwiches. They want the crust off. So in the end I did a little preparing, but not much. The food was very much appreciated.


  1. Was this use of West Tisbury resources a needed item, or just a test/playtime moment for a story? The optics of this disgust me if that is the case. If this is a family in need of good resources and not a “I got takeout for free” for my kid because I am busy, then this is a great story about how our schools continue to serve the vulnerable members of our community. Please soul search and figure it out.

  2. Actually, the only truth about hunger in children, or in anyone else, is that they would go to unimaginable lengths to have a crust of bread. It’s extremely wasteful to cut off crusts. Please don’t do it. I know this to be true because I grew up with a holocaust survivor. I have no problem with this outing otherwise. It gives the child a chance to see how familiar places and faces are still part of their lives.

    • Jackie– when my daughter was that age, she didn’t want the crust either. I chose not fight that battle, but dried the crusts out by leaving them on a little rack for a few days, breaking them up storing them in a tight container and then made stuffing for turkey or oven stuffer chickens.
      And there is a dog right there. no need to waste it.

  3. Electra and her puppy are adorable. ???? So grateful that schools have continued to provide lunch during this time.

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