Philadelphia mayor, superintendent help pack lunches, address computer concerns for students

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Mayor Jim Kenney and Superintendent William Hite visited John H. Webster Elementary School on Wednesday as staff packed grab-and-go meals to distribute to parents and students.

Officials say they expect to hand out 55,000 to 60,000 meals.

"Pickups are only on Mondays and Thursdays, but on those days, students and families can receive three breakfast and three lunches and so they can pick up six meals during that period of time," said Hite.

Webster is one of 80 locations across the city where free meals are available to kids while schools are closed amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Forty-nine schools, including Webster, will be open Wednesday morning from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. All children are eligible and no ID is required.

"Our kids are needy and live in conditions sometimes that are very difficult," said Kenney. "What we've done is responding and getting meals to kids, whatever educational packets we can and now ramping it up with Chromebooks. I think we're doing a lot for our children."

Hite addressed concerns about the lack of computers and the internet needed for students to continue learning at home. He said he suspects the district will need to purchase 40,000 to 50,000 Chromebooks.

Hite said he is meeting with the school board on Thursday to request the Chromebook purchases.
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