SCHOOLS CLOSE BUT FREE MEALS FOR CHILDREN CONTINUE
Even though schools are closed for the remainder of the school year, the Caldwell County Schools in unison with districts across the state will continue to provide free meals for children.
“Feeding our students became the first order of business when schools closed,” said Superintendent Dr. Donald Phipps. “With more than 50 percent of students on free or reduced meals, our main concern centered around their welfare and ensuring that households in Caldwell County avoided any level of food insecurity.”
With additional support from federal, state, and local agencies, the Child Nutrition Department has distributed nearly 300,000 meals to children ages 18 and under since school closure.
“We prepare approximately 70,000 meals including both breakfast and lunch to distribute on Tuesdays and Wednesdays each week,” said Guy Garner, Child Nutrition Director. “Besides the curbside service, we also provide 8,000 meals each week to the three traditional high schools that organize deliveries on Tuesdays within their feeder school area to students who have no means of picking up meals.”
The Caldwell County Schools food program provides seven breakfast and lunch meals per week to any child 18 and under. The distribution sites are open 11 am to 1 pm and 4 pm to 6 pm on Tuesday and Wednesday at four locations: Gamewell Elementary, Granite Falls Elementary, Hudson Elementary, and Valmead Elementary School.
Children are not required to be present to receive seven-day meal kits. Parents or drivers are asked to pick up the meals at the drive-thru site that is most convenient to them. Meals include easy-to-prepare precooked breakfast or lunches, fruits, vegetables, and daily servings of milk.
“Our plan involves free meals for children the duration of school closure,” said Garner, “and when summer approaches, there will be a continued offering of free food prepared by the Caldwell County Schools Child Nutrition Department.”