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STAFF PHOTO/BROOKE WILLIAMS Volunteers distributed meal packages to Lackawanna Trail students on March 18. From left are Julie Cresswell, Maryann Puerner, business manager Keith Glynn and superintendent Matthew Rakauskas.

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STAFF PHOTOS/BROOKE WILLIAMS As schools remain closed amid concerns for COVID-19, Lackawanna Trail School District began providing breakfast and lunch for its students on March 18. From left, volunteers Julie Cresswell, Maryann Puerner and Patti Gray prepare a meal package for a Lackawanna Trail parent driving through the pickup system. Due to a total district shutdown, Lackawanna Trail has stopped its meal distribution.

Lackawanna Trail School District has undergone a total shutdown, resulting in the suspension of a program that was feeding students as schools remain closed for COVID-19.

Superintendent Matthew Rakauskas said essential personnel reported to work for the first few days of the mandatory closing of Pennsylvania schools, which began on March 16.

District officials had already been considering limiting even essential personnel, he said.

“We did have one employee come in contact with someone a few times removed who may have been exposed to the coronavirus, so we decided to take extra caution and shut down totally,” he added.

Lackawanna Trail is prepared to bring students back on March 30, provided that requirements from the state don’t change, he said.

“My hope is by next week, we can get some of the essential staff back, but it’s changing day by day,” Rakauskas said on Friday.

Having essential personnel on hand allowed the district to distribute breakfast and lunch to K-12 students on Wednesday and Thursday. The district sent out an alert on Thursday that the meal distribution program would not continue under the total shutdown.

If possible, Rakauskas said the district will bring the program back and inform families via REMIND and ltsd.org.

The first two days of the program saw a positive response, with 62 students served on the first day and 88 on the second day.

“It’s been a tough time but I can’t thank the staff that’s been with us over the last week enough and I’m humbled by the amount of teachers and aides who came in to make sure our needy families got fed,” Rakauskas said.