Published November 4, 2020
In the earliest days of the COVID-19 pandemic, Gourmet Gorilla quickly began providing free, home delivered meals to the thousands of students it had been serving in schools throughout Illinois, Wisconsin, and Louisiana. Through the USDAs Summer Food Service Program, families can pick up meals curbside at schools, or sign up for home delivered free breakfasts and lunches.
With the pandemic forcing schools to continue remote learning this fall and winter, and with increasing need for access to fresh, healthy food in many communities, Gourmet Gorilla introduced its pantry style food boxes that provide whole fruits, vegetables, proteins, grains and milk. The boxes include locally sourced items as much as possible and are designed by dietitians to ensure they meet all the meal requirements of the program. Deliveries bring families a weekly supply of 7 days of breakfasts and lunches.
Prior to the coronavirus, more than 22 million children relied on the National School Lunch Program, a federal program that provides free or reduced-price lunch to kids at more than 100,000 U.S. schools each school day. About 12.5 million also received free and reduced-price breakfast, according to the School Nutrition Association. In April, the United States saw a nearly 50-year record rise in food costs and so people are paying higher prices for their groceries during the pandemic. 1 in 6 people could be food insecure by the end of 2020, Feeding America predicts — up from 1 in 9 people in 2019. This includes 1 in 4 children. All of this is making things increasingly harder for people and families dealing with job and income losses to afford food. Our hope is that these boxes provide the nutrition that kids need, along with convenience and menu flexibility for families.