Boston Public School officials says the number of free meals being provided to families had steadily risen since schools were closed on March 17, because of the coronavirus pandemic, and the schools provided nearly 15,000 meals Friday.

BPS District Food and Nutrition Services executive director Laura Benavidez told WGBH News BPS distributed 1,819 meals on the first day of the program after schools were closed. Since then, demand has increased every day, with Friday having the highest daily total so far: 14,658 meals, including 4,260 meals delivered, she said.

Benavidez says the pre-packaged meals are available at 16 sites across the city, with no questions asked about eligibility.

“What we did is to make sure it's as easy and quick and possible,” Benavidez said, “we wanted to make sure we provided two meals at one time, so they get a breakfast and lunch.”

Boston has 14 neighborhoods in its district, so Benavidez says they opened a site in each neighborhood, and in some larger neighborhoods more than one site was opened, while schools are closed.

Boston Public Schools is the largest school system in New England and on a regular school day, free meals are served at 125 locations. So, Benavidez says, condensing the program to 16 sites involved a lot of logistics, particularly dealing with social distancing and other issues surrounding coronavirus safety.

“We know hunger doesn’t take a break, doesn’t take a vacation,” Benavidez said, “and we wanted to make sure our families are aware we are available to them so we can provide meals.

Among the meals provided: fresh sandwiches, cereal, breakfast bars, hamburgers and frozen foods with heating instructions.

The free meal program is part of the National School Lunch Program, a federally assisted program that provides nutritionally balanced, low cost or free lunches.

In addition to meals, BPS 16 sites also offer personal hygiene products such as shampoo, deodorant, soap, menstrual products, for free courtesy of their to partner Catie's Closet.

Meal sites will be open on Patriots' Day, April 20 and during April vacation April 21-24.