Students, seniors get meals amid COVID-19 closures

SAFFORD – With Spring Break extending an extra week thanks to Gov. Doug Ducey, Safford Unified School District announced it will continue to serve meals to students in need.

On Monday, AJ Taylor, director of instructional services for the district, said that the district would provide meals through the National School Lunch and Breakfast Program, beginning March 23. As of now, the meals will only be available to Safford students. Updates will be posted on the district’s website.

SEACUS announced it has closed the senior centers in both Safford and Clifton, but will still provide meals for seniors.

“In order to continue serving members, we will be offering drive-up service. For seniors who don’t have transportation, we will make arrangements to deliver their meals,” SEACUS Executive Director Royce Hunt-Bell said, adding there’s been a slight modification for Meals-on-Wheels participants. “Basically, they will get one hot meal with a sandwich, and then they will get five frozen meals. So we will be delivering seven meals instead of the five we originally planned for.”

Safford Mayor Jason Kouts is under voluntary quarantine while he awaits COVID-19 test results. Kouts received the COVID-19 test Saturday after tests for influenza came back negative.

The San Carlos Apache Tribe has declared a state of emergency, with tribal employees other than those providing essential services placed on 30-days administrative leave, and all gatherings of 100 or more – excluding religious ceremonies – prohibited.

Safford City-Graham County Library announced it was closed to the public starting Monday, March 16, while the Greenlee County Library system would remain open March 16-17 before closing starting March 18.

Graham County Electric Co-op and Graham County Utilities, and town of Thatcher announced both announced closures of lobbies to walk-in customers. Both entities will be accepting payments through drive-up windows, through night-drop boxes, over the phone and online.

Solomon American Legion announced it is cancelling its Lenten fund-raiser, and Gila Valley Idol, scheduled for March 28, is being postponed to a date to be determined.