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PSS looks into possible abuse of Grab and Go program

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THE Public School System Child Nutrition Program has started to write down the vehicle registration plates of families collecting Grab and Go meals for students.

Title I program teachers have volunteered to record the number of meals collected by each vehicle at the different distribution sites.

In an interview, Title I program supervisor Kinai Salas said they want to find out if some individuals are picking up more meals than they should.

At Oleai Elementary School, meals for children are handed to parents who remain in their vehicles. Photo by Lori Lyn C. Lirio

During a Board of Education meeting on April 21, Child Nutrition Program director Dale Roberts said, “The meal distributions are generally running smoothly. I travel site to site and I am seeing lots of families that are cheating by going to multiple sites.”

He said lot of individuals are asking for nine to 11 meals at a time. Some parents or guardians were able to produce documentation for their children but others could not, he added.

“We are here to deliver that service, but I fear that there are abuses happening. We are already serving more lunches at each of these sites than we did in all of our schools combined on regular school days. We keep increasing because we have kids in the community that are not students like three-year-olds and other children that don’t show up on a school roster,” Roberts said.

If the program continues to be abused, he said he may restrict the number of meals that will be distributed. “I hope we don’t get to that point…but each day we seem to be adding more. It is not a funding issue, but it is a program issue.”

In his report to the BOE, Roberts said the Child Nutrition Program has been distributing over 10,000 meals each day since it resumed on April 16.

Since the government furloughed many of its employees, the number of meals distributed has also increased, Roberts said.

“We have increased the numbers each day and we have plans to deliver 11,275 meals,” he added.

 

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