Where to get free meals for children during school closures

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SOUTHEASTERN NC (WWAY) — Several school districts, businesses, and other organizations are making plans to feed students in need while schools are closed amid the coronavirus pandemic.

On Saturday, Governor Roy Cooper ordered all K-12 schools to close for two weeks.

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In New Hanover County, free breakfast and lunch for children 18 years and younger will be available for pick-up at 14 schools beginning on Monday, March 16. All sites are drive-through or walk-up sites only. No space will be provided for eating on site and multiple meals may be picked up by parents and caregivers. Recipients should be prepared to drive up or walk up to the designated area and let staff know how many meals are needed.

Schools will be open to the public on Monday, March 16 from 8 am-4 pm for retrieval of essential items such as medications and other essential equipment.

Lunch and the following morning’s breakfast will be provided beginning on Monday, March 16 for pick-up from 11 a.m. – 1:00 p.m., Monday through Friday at the following schools:

  • Rachel Freeman School of Engineering
  • Castle Hayne Elementary
  • Wrightsboro Elementary
  • Mary C. Williams Elementary
  • Pine Valley Elementary
  • Sunset Park Elementary
  • D.C. Virgo Preparatory Academy: UNCW
  • Emma B. Trask Middle School
  • College Park Elementary School
  • Annie H. Snipes Academy of Arts & Design
  • New Hanover High School
  • Edwin A. Alderman Elementary
  • Winter Park Elementary
  • Mary Washington Howe Pre-K CenterGLOW Academy will provide curbside pickup of breakfast and lunch at its Sunglow Drive campus daily from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Monday through Friday. The school will also deliver meals to six underserved areas of the county to reach students without transportation. Breakfast and lunch service is available to all students under the age of 18. Children do not have to be enrolled at GLOW Academy to access this free meal service. The curbside service and meal delivery will begin on Tuesday, March 17 and continue until March 31, or until the CDC announces new virus mitigation protocols.
    GLOW Academy is located at 4100 Sunglow Drive, off Kerr Avenue between Market Street and MLK Parkway.



    The schedule for daily bus meal delivery is:

  • 11:00 a.m. – 11:45 a.m. Greenville Loop Village Trailer Park on Greenville Loop Road
  • 11:00 a.m. – 11:45 a.m. Vista Village, Manhattan Drive
  • 12:15 p.m. – 12:45 p.m. Oak Court Apartments, 245 S. Kerr Avenue
  • 12:15 p.m. – 12:45 p.m. Forest Hills Apartments, 505 Alpine Drive
  • 1:00 p.m. – 1:45 p.m. Tidewater Apartments, 355 Greendale Drive
  • 1:00 p.m. – 1:45 p.m. MLK Center, 401 S. 8th Street

In Brunswick County, schools will be providing pickup meals for all children 1-18 years of age. The district will be providing breakfast and lunch meals at North Brunswick High School, South Brunswick High Sschool, and  West Brunswick High School  for pickup from 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 pm. The district will be providing these meals Monday through Friday during the school closure. Parents are asked to stay in their car, and packaged breakfast and lunch meals will be brought out to them. There will be no charge to families with children.

Matthew’s Ministry has also set up pickup sites where students can get food.

In Bladen County, schools will offer free hot to-go meals to any child or young adult ages one to 18 during the closure. Food service will begin on Monday, March 16. The sites will be open Monday through Friday from 11:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m.. Lunch will be the only meal provided Monday, but all other days will include breakfast and lunch. The seven sites are:

  • Bladen Lakes Primary School
  • Bladenboro Middle School
  • Clarkton School of Discovery
  • East Arcadia Elementary School
  • Elizabethtown Middle School
  • Tar Heel Middle School
  • West Bladen High School

If you are unable to travel to a school to pick up meals, please contact the school administrator to determine if there can be an alternative pick up site.

Pender County Schools will shift to regional sites for food distribution starting Wednesday. Any current PCS students or any children 18 or under can visit the following locations from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. to receive a grab-and-go lunch for that day and breakfast for the next day:

  • Penderlea School
  • Malpass Corner Elementary
  • Burgaw Elementary
  • Heide Trask High
  • Topsail High
  • Surf City Elementary/Middle

On Sunday, Superintendent Steven Hill released a statement, saying in part:

“Since Governor Cooper’s announcement on Saturday that all North Carolina public schools would be closed for the next two weeks, the Pender County Schools staff has been working diligently to develop plans to meet the educational and nutritional needs of our students. The staff has worked with limited state information, time and resources to come up with the best options to support students. As state information is received these plans may be revised. Please monitor the PCS website, social media posts and announcements for possible revisions.

To help facilitate this plan, Monday and Tuesday will be staff workdays at all PCS campuses. On Monday, teachers and staff members will work to build optional educational material packets and prepare Chromebooks (for grades 2-12) for distribution.

Those packets can be picked up by parents from their child’s homeroom teacher on Tuesday from 9 a.m.-7 p.m. At this time, we are asking parents not to come to school campuses on Monday unless it is to pick up emergency medications from the school nurse. If you need to stop in on Monday, we ask that you call and set up an appointment with school administration.”

Columbus County Schools will provide free meals for anyone age 18 and under. They can be picked up at any Columbus County School on Monday, March 16th, in the cafeteria. If you are unable to travel to a school to pick up a meal, please contact the school to determine if there can be an alternative pick up site. Breakfast can be picked up from 8:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. and lunch can be picked up from 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

Several restaurants and organizations are also offering free meals to children while schools are closed.

In Wilmington, Katy’s Sports Bar and Grill on College Road is offering free kids meals at breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Sweet and Savory Cafe is offering free breakfast and lunch to children. Brigade Boys & Girls Club will also provide meals to families with children between the ages of five and 18. Meal distribution sites will be open Monday – Saturday from 10 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. at Brigade Boys & Girls Club’s Teen Center located at 2759 Vance Street and Houston Moore Housing Authority located at 1601 S. 13th Street.

In Carolina Beach, The Lazy Pirate is offering free lunches to any Carolina or Kure Beach child in need. Starting Tuesday, parents can come by during the week from 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. to pick up.

In Leland, Mr. Bagel Meister is offering free breakfast sandwiches.

We will continue to update this list as more locations are announced.