With the novel coronavirus forcing schools across the state to close through mid-April, some parents are scrambling to figure out how to feed their kids stuck at home and doing their lessons remotely.
Valerie Aguilera, owner of The Frayed Feather, 213 E. Bremer Ave., has stepped up to help out many of them by bagging up sandwiches, chips, fruit and a cookie for Waverly-area students needing a nutritious midday meal.
Her thoughts were of the students who are in the free-lunch program at the school, but she opened her giveaway to all kids.
“It’s for anybody who could use the assistance of some free meals,” Aguilera told Waverly Newspapers during the noon hour Tuesday at the shop.
The bags are available from the rear of the vintage décor and locally crafted items store from approximately 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. weekdays. It can be accessed via the alley behind the store, where there is a sign indicating the available lunches, nestled between Only Kids Dentistry and The Wild Carrot.
Tuesday’s lunch featured peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, while there was a peanut-free alternative with crackers and lunch meat. The cookies were made by Sonya Carlson, which Aguilera said are “super good.”
Also in Tuesday’s bags, Aguilera inserted a coloring activity sheet for the Waverly Window Easter Egg Hunt.
“You can decorate it and place it in your windows,” Aguilera said. “We have a lot of communities doing scavenger hunts, and we thought they could go on Easter egg hunts.”
The hunt is being organized by Orchard Hill Church’s Waverly campus. In an email, Megan Lorenzen, administrative coordinator for the church, said kids of all ages are encouraged to decorate their paper egg, and then the public can walk or drive around to spot as many of them as possible.
Aguilera said her plans were to continue with the sack lunches for at least the rest of this week.
“We don’t know if the school is going to be picking up the free lunch program or not,” she said. “My store is closed currently, so we may just continue to do it until either we run out of donations or funds or the schools pick it up.”
She said that she hopes what she does can be a big help for those in need.
“I know there are a lot of financial insecurities right now,” Aguilera said. “Everyone is just kind of worried about the future. If we can help them by making meals, that’d be what we want to do.”