All districts offering meals
for youth 18 and under

TRI-CITY AREA — Late on Thursday, March 12, Governor Gretchen Whitmer ordered that all schools be closed starting Monday, March 16 for a period of three weeks, until April 6. That announcement came after some districts, including Capac Community Schools, had already canceled all events and meetings outside of the school day.

In Almont, Superintendent Dr. William Kalmar said students were given the opportunity on Friday to clean their lockers and desks and to take home any personal items.

He noted that students in some classes were provided activities they could work on during their time off school.

Dryden’s Darlene Embree, Lori Hall, Jennifer Cronkright and Sheila James hand out free meals for students on Monday.

“But that was not our top priority,” Kalmar said. “Our collective priority should be the mitigation of this highly contagious virus, by engaging in behaviors which have been stressed repeatedly over the last few weeks.”

Almont’s District/Central Office will have office hours Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 7 to 9 a.m. or by appointment.

He noted that all further inquiries should be directed to 810-798-8561.

Since the closures were announced, school officials have been focusing their efforts on making sure students get the food they need.

On Monday, districts started handing out free meals for youth 18 and under in the Tri-City area in response to the state-ordered shutdown.

Dryden Community Schools started offering free bagged breakfasts and lunches on Monday, March 16 at Dryden Elementary School.

Lori Hall, fellow staff members and volunteers helped serve each family that came to pick up meals.

“We served over 100 kids today,” Hall said.

“Our helpers today included Principal Karen Roys, Kelly Dunnigan, Darlene Embree—who both are part of our elementary lunch staff—, Jennifer Cronkright, Sheila James, school board trustee Ray Hall, and myself.”

Breakfasts and lunches are being served to children 18 years and younger, and recipients do not need to be Dryden Community Schools students.

Pick up times and dates are Mondays (March 16, 23, and 30) and Thursdays (March 19 and 26, April 2) from 8-10 a.m. at Dryden Elementary School, 3835 N. Mill Road.

The school suggests that those planning to participate, bring a tote to carry the bagged meals home.

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In Almont, Chartwell Food Services will provide free food at the Almont Middle School on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m.

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Capac Community Schools will begin handing out free breakfast and lunch for students on Wednesday, March 18 and every Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the high school cafeteria.

Two days or more worth of food can be picked up each time. The food cannot be consumed at the school and some meals may need to be heated at home.

Families are asked to call or email in advance with the number of meals needed. Call 810-395-3855 or email

• • • • •

Imlay City Schools began their food service program Tuesday, March 17. They’ll be providing free “grab
and go” lunch and snacks.

Buses will be parked at the following locations every Tuesday and Friday through April 3:

•Maple Grove Mailbox Lot and Townsend Manor Entrance from 4-4:45 p.m.

•Hickory Square Offices Lot and Lamb Steele Upper Parking Lot (near the swimming pool) from 4:45-5:30 p.m.

Additionally, a drive-up option at Imlay City High School’s North Parking Lot from 4-7 p.m. will also be offered.

Participants are encouraged to bring tote bags or boxes to transport the food.

• • • • •

In all instances, children and students don’t need to be present to receive the food.

Tom Wearing started at the Tri-City Times in 1989, covering the Village of Capac as a beat reporter. He later served stints as assistant editor and editor. Today, he covers Imlay City and Almont as a staff writer. He enjoys music and plays drums and sings with various musical groups in the Detroit Metropolitan area.