Both programs are based at Highland School.

Crookston Public Schools leaders want to assure families with kids in the schools that both the free meal service program and child care for children of emergency responders, health care workers and other eligible positions will continue under Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz’s statewide “stay at home” executive order, which kicks in at 11:59 p.m.


Both programs are based at Highland School. School district Food Services Director Anna Ogaard-Brekken and Highland School Principal Chris Trostad confirmed that both free programs will not be impacted by the stay-at-home order.


Ogaard-Brekken said both the “grab and go” meal service as well as deliveries for families unable to get to Highland will continue.


“We recognize that food access is essential during this time and are confident that our operations still allow for adequate social distancing,” Ogaard-Brekken says. “We want to thank all those that have taken advantage of this program during the emergency closure of the school and we intend on continuing it for the duration of the school closure.”


On average, she said, more than 300 meals are being served daily. Anyone 18 or younger in need of a meal - or their parent or guardian - is encouraged to stop by the Highland front entrance between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. Monday through Friday. If you can’t make it there, call 281-5600 after 9 a.m. to set up a delivery.


Ogaard-Brekken, who is on a leave of absence, said many are making the free meal service program a success.


“I, personally, would like to send a sincere thank you to my wonderful food service staff who have made this possible for our community during this unpredictable time. I’m so impressed with their willingness to help out and do whatever is asked of them,” she says. “They have went above and beyond their job duties to ensure food access for all children. I am very grateful for their hard work and taking on so much of this load when I cannot be physically present. They are an awesome team to be a part of.”


Trostad says daily child care numbers at the school have ranged from 21 kids to 56. They partake in academic, enrichment and fun activities throughout the day in the school library and other classrooms in the building.