FORT BUCHANAN, PR -- The Department of Defense Schools, officially known as Department of Defense Education Activity (DODEA) cafeteria staff at Fort Buchanan and Ramey prepare and distribute over 7,000 breakfast/lunch meals daily, to parents of DODEA students and children from the municipalities of Cataño and Aguadilla. As of May 18, 2020 approximately 121,294 meals have been distributed. This initiative is part of the Summer School Meal Program (SMP) authorized by the US Department of Agriculture in conjunction with the State Agency – Food and Nutrition Services of the PR Department of Education.The service has been provided for more than 30 years to Cataño. This year, due to the COVID-19 emergency, DODEA received a waiver to support Cataño and Aguadilla’s request. DoDEA’s School Meal Program is an independent program from PR Department of Education. It responds solely to the US Department of Agriculture. Cataño and Aguadilla are the only municipalities supported by DoDEA due to their proximity. Other municipalities cannot be supported due to their distance from Fort Buchanan military installation and limitations on DoDEA’s capacity.Fort Buchanan DODEA Safety Attendant Kevin Burgos assists in handing out the packaged meals to the parents. The daily distribution of these meals from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. began April 29 and will continue until June 30, 2020 at the installation’s Specialist Frances M. Vega gate.“The real heroes here are the cafeteria staff. Their food production lines are impressive and all meals are prepared from scratch. During a time when many parents are unemployed, these heroes prepare from 7,000 to 7,200 meals every day to ensure that no child goes hungry,” said SMP Manager, José “Jowe” M. Hernández.“I am very happy with the way the schools are handling this emergency. I have two children in the Antilles Middle School. This is great. They are providing food, my kids have [on-line] classes from 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and they even have math tutors, I have no complaints,” said Edna Feliciano.Safety Officer for the 166th RSG from the 1st Mission Support Command and father of a 10 year old in fourth grade, Marcelo Cedeño said, “Considering this situation we are living, the schools here have gone far above and beyond. This is awesome.”