• June 1, 2020

GUEST VIEW: Rural resiliency keeps children fed - Odessa American: Guest Columns

e-Edition Subscribe

GUEST VIEW: Rural resiliency keeps children fed

Font Size:
Default font size
Larger font size

Posted: Sunday, March 29, 2020 3:15 am

Rural communities are showcasing resiliency by ensuring kids are fed during widespread school closures caused by the coronavirus.

With so many uncertainties surrounding us, where the next meal is coming from should not be one of them. This should especially not be a concern for growing young bodies who happen to be our rural legacy.

In West Point, Nebraska, all students will be provided free breakfast and lunch while school is closed. Households pick up meals at regular bus stops in town and in nearby communities the school also serves.

Other rural schools are running drive-through operations and working with local organizations and volunteers to make sure meals are delivered to students who most rely on this food—those receiving free and reduced meals. In addition, Chef Ann Foundation has put together guidance for schools looking for resources to respond during this time.

In 2018, school cafeterias served nearly 5 billion lunches nationwide—three-quarters were free or at a reduced price. A report found that children from food insecure households are more likely to eat school meals and receive more of their food and nutrient intake from school meals than other children. The numbers for free and reduced meals tend to be higher in rural areas.

In rural communities during crisis, we see something inspiring, something defiant. Because we are a resilient bunch, we band together and take care of each other. Rural people forge on, through the unknowns, even when there is no end in sight. In these weeks, and potentially months to come, we will see rural resiliency, strength, and unity that prove no matter the challenge, our rural communities can, and will, rise to the occasion.

Sandra Renner is Farm & Community director for the Center for Rural Affairs.

Odessa, TX

Current Conditions

Partly Cloudy
Humidity: 48%
Winds: SSE at 11mph
Feels Like: 81°

Your Extended Forecast


High 82°/Low 64°
Mostly cloudy. Highs in the low 80s and lows in the mid 60s.


High 89°/Low 68°
Mostly sunny. Highs in the upper 80s and lows in the upper 60s.


High 94°/Low 68°
Plenty of sun. Highs in the mid 90s and lows in the upper 60s.
Online Features

Pet Central


Having a pet is a lot of responsibility, and we’ll help by giving you lots of tips and tricks! More >>



Our fitness articles will help teach you how to work out with gym- and home-based exercises. More >>



Enjoy the crosswords challenge in our free daily puzzles, from the harder Sunday crossword to the quicker daily. More >>



Every Sudoku has a unique solution that can be reached logically. Enter numbers into the blank spaces so that each row, column and 3x3 box contains the numbers 1 to 9. More >>

  • ALL-ACCESS: Subscribe to our e-edition and premium website at myoaoa.com.
    You can read your daily newspaper without taking a walk to the driveway.
    Look back at yesterday's newspaper, or issues from months ago with our archive feature.
    Call circulation at 432-337-7314 to sign up today.