Marlborough touts meal distribution program during crisis

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By Dakota Antelman, Contributing Writer

Marlborough – The region’s most comprehensive K-12 food distribution program touted a positive milestone March 30, the same day the city board of health revealed grim new metrics on the local impacts of COVID-19.

The first of two major updates Monday showed the city has now distributed 20,000 prepared meals to school age students since the ongoing coronavirus pandemic forced the closure of schools and their cafeterias last month.

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All data via local boards of health. | By Dakota Antelman

The second, meanwhile, revealed 31 local residents had tested positive for COVID-19. That represented a notable spike in cases since data was previously released just three days earlier, then showing nine total cases across Marlborough.

That surge reflects a general trend across the region that put the number of confirmed or suspected cases across the Community Advocate coverage area over 120 by March 31.

This, in turn, all comes within a week of the Marlborough Board of Health and several of its local counterparts saying they were expecting an uptick in cases as testing increased.

Now, with cases continually rising and more community members under quarantine, city officials are reiterating that the Board of Health remains hard at work, saying that they’re “monitoring all cases of COVID-19 in the Marlborough community.”

Alongside all that, city central offices have also extended water and sewer bill due dates by 60 days and announced city residents without a transfer station sticker can drop off waste at the dump for free through April.

“Residents must show their vehicle registration and driver’s license both bearing the same Marlborough address,” a statement announcing that move read.

All this happens, though, as officials in the city’s schools contend with the tangential problem of hunger within the student body.

As schools remain closed, after all, the more than 1,000 local students to qualify for free or reduced price lunches from cafeterias due to financial insecurity, may, some fear, be going underfed.

With those 20,000 meals distributed through pickup locations at district schools and close to 40 drop off locations following typical bus routes, the district is hoping it has and will continue to mitigate that threat.