OTTUMWA — With students out of class for the foreseeable future, several local groups are working to create an emergency food distribution program that will start next week.

Southeast Iowa has one of the highest rates for students using free and reduced-price meals in the state, which underscores the challenge many families have when it comes to making sure they have adequate nutrition. When schools close, part of the safety net breaks.

The distribution is available for children ages 2-18 and begins Monday, March 23. Meals will be available for pickup twice daily Monday through Friday. Children will need to be present at the pickup location to receive the meals, but a home delivery request form is available for parents without access to any of the locations at ottumwaymca.com.

Home deliveries will be made from noon to 1:30 p.m. and 6-7 p.m.

To limit exposure and crowding, those picking up meals are strongly encouraged to take them home before eating. Distribution will last 10 minutes at each site.

Locations and times are as follows:

Bridge View Center

Lunch drive through:

11 a.m.-noon

Dinner drive through:

5-6 p.m.

Cardinal school district

Batavia park/ball field

Lunch drop off: 10:50 a.m.

Dinner drop off: 4:50 p.m.

Eldon central park

Lunch drop off: 10:50 a.m.

Dinner drop off: 4:50 p.m.

Cardinal school

Lunch drop off: 10:50 a.m.

Dinner drop off: 4:50 p.m.

Ottumwa school district

Rocket Fuels Highway 34

Lunch drop off: 10:40 a.m.

Dinner drop off: 4:40 p.m.

Foster Park

Lunch drop off: 10:50 a.m.

Dinner drop off: 4:50 p.m.

Evans Middle School

Lunch drop off: 11 a.m.

Dinner drop off: 5 p.m.

Ottumwa High School —

Fourth Street

Lunch drop off: 11:10 a.m.

Dinner drop off: 5:10 p.m.

Douma Elementary

Lunch drop off: 11:20 a.m.

Dinner drop off: 5:20 p.m.

Emerald Hill Apartments

Lunch drop off: 11:30 a.m.

Dinner drop off: 5:30 p.m.

Valley Village Trailer

Court

Lunch drop off: 11:40 a.m.

Dinner drop off: 5:40 p.m.

Stellar Woods

Apartments

Lunch drop off: 11:50 a.m.

Dinner drop off: 5:50 p.m.

Hillcrest Park

Lunch drop off: 12:10 p.m.

Dinner drop off: 6:10 p.m.

Washington Apartments

Lunch drop off: 12:30 p.m.

Dinner drop off: 6:30 p.m.

Taft Circle Apartments

Lunch drop off: 12:50 p.m.

Dinner drop off: 6:50 p.m.

Horace Mann

Elementary

Lunch drop off: 1:10 p.m.

Dinner drop off: 7:10 p.m.

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