Volunteers work to get food ready for Dakota County students

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The Open Door in Eagan has been getting food ready for students in District 196 after their schools closed due to concerns about COVID-19.

"When school and businesses are going to be closed, access to food is critical and our kids are the highest on our priority," said executive director Jason Viana.

The Open door normally helps the district feed students in the summer months, but are ready to go now due to school closings.

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District 196 announced that on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday this week, they will offer free grab-and-go meals each day at the seven sites to all students:

  • 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. At the following school sites: Cedar Park, Dakota Ridge, Echo Park, Oak Ridge and Thomas Lake;
  • 11-11:30 a.m. Cinnamon Ridge Park, 4598 Slater Road, Eagan, and
  • 11:45 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. Cedar Knolls mobile home community (near the pool), 12571 Garland Ave., Apple Valley.

"We’re all thinking should we hunker down? This a good thing to do,” said volunteer Ron Jackelen. “It’s worth coming out into the world they are trying to make it safe for us and we can help folks.”

The Open Door’s volunteers are now also packing up food for 7000 other Dakota County residents that rely on the food pantry.

The food shelter has been in need of brown paper bags because they are now packing up food to send out to the community.

"The trick for us right now is that we have enough help, financial support and we have enough food," Viana said. “We all have to take care of each other if we do we’ll get through this just fine."