Meals for schoolchildren seem to be one of the top priorities as the state continues to shut down over concerns about the coronavirus, also known as COVID-19.
Along with Frederick County Public Schools serving free breakfast and lunch to any child under the age of 18 for the next two weeks, many local restaurants have joined the effort.
Chaps Pitt Beef in Westview Shopping Center is offering free meals to school-aged children at any time during operating hours.
Josh Verstandig, owner of the Frederick location of Chaps, said they wanted to do it for a simple reason.
“We’re part of the community. … We are locally owned,” Verstandig said. “People are going to need a break, both financially and from their homes, and it’s the least we can do to try and help kids out that normally would be relying on school lunches.”
No purchase is necessary at Chaps to receive a free meal, Verstandig said. All they ask is that young children be accompanied by an adult and older students such as high schoolers who can transport themselves to Chaps show a school ID.
Options for food include a grilled cheese sandwich, a hot dog or chicken tenders, and each is served with a side of fries or macaroni and cheese.
Despite Gov. Larry Hogan’s announcement Monday morning that all restaurants and bars in the state close for in-house dining until further notice, Verstandig said they will continue offering takeout options so that children can have the free meals.
As of now, Verstandig said they plan to offer the meals for the next two weeks and will then reassess.
“With everything going on, we’ll play it by ear. If we are instructed to close overall, we obviously won’t be able to do it. And at the end of two weeks we will reassess if we’re going to continue moving forward based on whether schools are open,” he said.
Article originally appeared at https://www.fredericknewspost.com/news/education/school-notes-restaurants-organizations-work-to-feed-students-during-closure/article_f4d81c56-0a09-592f-aa13-3332bedca3cd.html