Some families still waiting for Meals-to-You packages

Posted at 7:58 PM, May 01, 2020

LAFAYETTE — Meals are continuing to be distributed throughout Acadiana amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Several school districts are partnering with the Meals-to-You program.

The program, operated by the Baylor Collaborative on Hunger and Poverty and the U.S. Department of Agriculture, delivers boxes full of food right to a student's front door.

Dozens in Acadiana are relying on meal distribution programs and donation drives to feed their families who are stuck at home.

"Our budget has changed," explained Jessica LaVergne, who has five children currently out of school. "We're not spending here because we have to spend more at home on just groceries, different things, the electricity bill."

LaVergne is among the thousands participating in the Meals-to-You program, but some are now wondering when will they receive those meals.

"We heard that it was going to be shipped the 20th, around the 20th, and so we were excited about that, but we're waiting," said LaVergne.

School officials say some in Lafayette Parish have received the packages but didn't have exact numbers on how many.

They say the packages will arrive at different times because of a couple of factors: the time you registered for the program and were approved and the increased demand shippers are facing right now.

Some parents are concentrating on the positive while they wait.

"Hey, cool! It adds to the family grocery bill, and that could save the family $100," said LaVergne. "It helps. Every bit helps."

In the meantime, organizations like Boys & Girls Clubs of Acadiana and the Three O'Clock Project are making sure people don't go hungry.

"This partnership is intended to be that additional resource for families in the event that they're experiencing that gap," said Missy Andrade, president and CEO of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Acadiana. "This is always another option for them to come and grab food in the interim until they're able to get those deliveries."

A total of five parishes in Acadiana are participating in the Meals-to-You program.

For Acadia Parish, deliveries started in mid-April with second shipments going out this week.

Three percent of those registered in Acadia Parish saw delays because of shipping, but, according to the superintendent, some of those families are now receiving their boxes.

Deliveries in St. Martin Parish started this week while some families are still awaiting approval.

There have been no reports of delayed shipments in Vermilion, Evangeline and St. Mary parishes.

Vermilion, Iberia and St. Landry parishes are all participating in the Healthy School Food Collaborative.

Jeff Davis Parish is doing grab-and-go meals every Monday at select schools.

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