NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — New Hanover County Schools plan to continue distributing meals by delivery and pick-up to families in need during the coronavirus pandemic over the summer.
WWAY’s Hannah Patrick got an update from Child Nutrition Director Imer Smith on meal distribution and the district’s plan for this summer while she was working at Murray Middle School.
Smith said New Hanover County Schools have distributed more than 500,000 meals to families in the community since the Coronavirus pandemic began forcing schools to close in March.
During school closures, the district has been offering free breakfast and hot lunch meals Monday through Friday to children 18 years old and under through the end of the school year. The school year ends June 11th. Smith said they will continue past this date with their traditional summer feeding program.
Currently, the district has 20 pick-up locations at area schools serving from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday through Friday. Smith said they also have more than 50 bus stop locations for delivery right now.
Smith said this program has been a really important need for our community.
“I’ve heard just some very personal stories about just how thankful they are and that there was a time where it was hard to get out and you couldn’t get out to get food. Then, some parents are working and some parents are totally out of work, just no income coming in,” Smith said.
Smith said the free lunch and breakfast has really gone a long way in helping some of these families.
“Just having this little bit of help serving two meals a day.. we’ve seen so many smiles in children, just pictures that will really make your heart happy,” Smith said.
Smith said the district will start their summer program on June 15. She said it will be reduced to nine pick-up sites at schools and 47 bus stops for delivery.
After June 30, Smith said they will still have nine schools for pick-up and 27 bus stops for delivery, because they are forecasting a reduction in need later this summer once camps start back up again.
The schools will be releasing more details on the summer program in the next week.
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