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Brenham Strong | Local Brenham restaurants providing students with free meals

Restaurants around Brenham are providing free lunches for students after Brenham ISD closed its drive-thru meal sites because of potential exposure to COVID-19.

BRENHAM, Texas — Local restaurants are stepping up to help families in need after Brenham ISD closes its drive-thru meal sites.

"If we have to resources to do that then we should be able to help," said Shannan Canales, co-owner of Las Americas Latin Cuisine.

Brenham ISD announced Tuesday night it was closing all drive-thru meal sites until further notice. The school district said the decision was made out of caution after a potential exposure of COVID-19 to a child nutrition staff member.

"I thought, 'Man some families aren't able to prepare for how quick that news was given,'" Canales said.

Canales had an idea about what she can do to help families who rely on school meals.

"We're already open, we're doing to-go and take-out so what we can do is offer a grilled cheese or offer the things that we have already," Canales.

Canales contacted other restaurants in Downtown Brenham to help provide meals for families in need. Along with Las Americas, Canales was able to get two other restaurants to help supply free lunches. Several more restaurants took part in the free lunches by the end of the week.

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"When that opportunity presented itself it was a no brainer to get involved and help families that are struggling in whatever way we could," said Mark Renn, the owner of Pioneer Smokehouse.

Brenham ISD notified the public the staff member had not been exposed to the coronavirus. The school district also said the meal sites will remain closed while school officials work on a new plan for food distribution.

Until then, local restaurants are glad to help in any way they can.

"Everybody likes to say Brenham strong and I think that that is what's happening," Canales said. "I think we're bringing light in a very dark situation. It's bringing positivity to a lot of people in Brenham right now."

Canales said the more restaurants are looking to help donate and provide meals. 

Different restaurants participate each day, follow Las Americas Latin Cuisine's Facebook or Instagram for details on which restaurants are providing meals. 

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