No kitchen staff? No problem at Miamisburg as school staff, community pitch in to solve lunch gap

Miamisburg High School Principal Michael Black and school counselor Sheanna Kurtz hand out donated donuts, fruit, snacks and drinks before school Thursday, Nov. 12. The school's entire cafeteria staff had to quarantine on very short notice, but school employees and community members stepped up to fill the need. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO
Miamisburg High School Principal Michael Black and school counselor Sheanna Kurtz hand out donated donuts, fruit, snacks and drinks before school Thursday, Nov. 12. The school's entire cafeteria staff had to quarantine on very short notice, but school employees and community members stepped up to fill the need. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

School in the COVID era has included many disappointments, but also uplifting stories like Thursday’s breakfast and lunch at Miamisburg High School.

Miamisburg Principal Michael Black said school officials learned Wednesday night that the entire high school kitchen staff would have to quarantine because of a COVID-19 case. The district sent out messages that students would need to pack lunch Thursday.

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Math teacher Jeff Toschlog immediately emailed faculty and staff, suggesting they could fill the gap for a day by bringing in food, given the last-minute nature of the problem.

“I was concerned about our student population that receives free or reduced-price lunches and breakfasts,” Toschlog said. “I also know that some families just may not have recently gone to the grocery. … Within just a couple of minutes I had responses from dozens of staff members willing to help.”

Black said he couldn’t even count the number of staff members involved — teachers, administrators, aides, secretaries and support staff — bringing a variety of food, snacks and water early Thursday morning.

“We also had parents and students offering to help and contribute,” he said. “One parent donated 40 dozen donuts and Tim Hortons provided 100 sandwiches for our students.”

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Black said high school staff and central office personnel helped distribute the meals during breakfast and lunch, adding that all students were well-fed and taken care of.

Toschlog called it “a tremendous effort” by the school and the whole community and staff, adding that, “We can accomplish anything when we work as a team.”

Black thanked everyone involved, whether they helped via food, time, money or just support for students during a challenging time.

"One of our culture statements at Miamisburg High School is “We are stronger together.” Black said. “This was demonstrated today by our staff and community.”

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