DC schools partner with Uber to offer free rides to meal sites

Students and families in the D.C. public school system can get free rides to meal sites over the summer through a partnership with Uber, school officials announced on Friday.

“We are committed to the whole student; socially, emotionally and physically, and we know many times that begins with a healthy meal,” said Lewis Ferebee, the school system’s chancellor.

The system will cover the cost of rides to and from eight meal sites across the District.

Ferebee toured one of the sites Friday morning, at Ballou High School in Southeast, and said families would receive information on how to access the free ride vouchers.

“During the health emergency, many families may have struggled with access to healthy meals,” said Ferebee. “That will give families another means of transportation to get to our meal sites and enjoy meals from our cafeterias.”

The eight sites will operate Mondays through Fridays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

They include Cardozo Education Campus, Thomson Elementary School, Coolidge High School, Langdon Elementary School, Kelly Miller Middle School, Kimball Elementary School, Ballou High School and Turner Elementary School.

“We’ve had access to federal stimulus dollars, so we have been able to tap into those resources and expand our meal service,” Ferebee said. “Even if you’re not in any of our summer programming, you can still go to schools and get access to meals.”

Families can sign up to receive vouchers good for up to a $40 round trip from their home to the nearest food distribution site and back. Individuals are limited to six round-trip vouchers in total during July and August.

If a family needs support in scheduling an Uber ride to a meal site or has any questions, they are urged to email food.dcps@k12.dc.gov.

The school system has been offering “grab-and-go” meals throughout the pandemic at about 40 schools around the District, partnering with Martha’s Table, DC Central Kitchen and Capitol Area Food Bank.

Since the start of the pandemic, meal sites have provided more than 1.5 million meals to students.

Nick Iannelli

Nick Iannelli can be heard covering developing and breaking news stories on WTOP.

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