Catering company for schools still feeding hungry students during pandemic

Many students depend on getting their meals from school but with districts not open, for many that means no food. 

But a Detroit catering company is stepping up to fill the need for free.

They are running two shifts a day, six days a week at Edibles Rex on Detroit's east side.

It is a catering company that provides meals for school children throughout Detroit - before the pandemic, before schools were closed.

"We would pack anywhere from 6,000 to 9,000 meals a day," said Tammy Tedesco.

And now, since mid-March, she says the company is up to 15,000 meals a day.  

While other school food service programs are shuttered, or operating in a limited capacity, Edibles Rex is doing everything it can.

"All your children that were in daycares, they're not being fed," she said. "A lot of times families that have one or two K-12 students that are eligible, the whole family 18 and under, is eligible."

So the workers are showing up every day and doing their part during this pandemic.

"It's been working, we haven't had any employees get sick and thankfully, everyone is practicing good health habits," Tedesco said.

The company is getting creative to keep up with demand.

"We've been relying on friends, family, high school children that will come in and help us out with additional shifts," she said.

Getting it all done isn't easy.

"We're never sure what's coming in with the food chain being broken a little bit. So our menu is based on whatever's available at the time," said Rob Imesch 

"We've had strangers give us cash donations which has gone to the employees," Tedesco said. "Strangers, families that don't even know our staff but are so grateful someone is going to work every day and feeding the children."

"Just knowing that these kids are getting food, for some of them during the school year it might be the only meal they get sometimes," said Imesch. "Now it's even more important."