By Sean Dunlap
With schools closed through at least Friday, April 17, Franklin County’s educational leadership is rolling out plans to feed area children through the end of April.
During the monthly school board meeting held on Tuesday, March 17, Superintendent of Education Chris Kent outlined his goals of providing breakfast and lunch to Franklin County children through the height of the coronavirus crisis.
“The plan is to provide meals not only in a centralized location, but to take the meals out into the community,” Kent told the board.
“While this will create a feeding program through April 30, it remains to be seen where we will be with the coronavirus as it relates to classes.”
The feeding plan includes providing “grab-and-go” meals to all area children under the age of 18, according to Kent.
“Children do not have to be a Franklin County student to receive the meals, and no ID is required,” he said. “However, per federal regulations, children must be present to claim their meals.”
Children should not leave their ride as meals will be delivered to each vehicle.
The meals will be offered to no cost to all young people as the district is an equal service provider per federal guidelines.
“We don’t have to worry about whether or not a child gets a free or reduced lunch with this program,” he continued. “If your children want a meal, we have it for them.”
Kent noted each child taking part will receive a lunch and a breakfast at the time of pick up with distribution taking place Monday through Friday.
“The lunch is intended for immediate consumption, and the breakfast is intended for consumption the following day,” Kent said. “Food safety guidance will also be distributed with each meal.”
The superintendent said adult meals will not be available through the feeding program.
Funding for the program will be provided through federal grant dollars — similar to what is done with the annual summer feeding program.
Meals will be distributed from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., Monday through Friday in the traffic circle adjacent to the Franklin County High School Cafeteria or at one of the following school bus drop-off locations.
Those locations around Franklin County will include:
• Bude Apartments from 11 to 11:30 a.m.
• Rose Hill Church on U.S. Highway 98 from 11:45 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.
• Fox Run Apartments from 11 to 11:20 a.m.
• McCall Creek Fire Station from 11:30 to 11:50 a.m.
• Granny’s Corner Store from noon to 12:20 p.m.
• Mount Sinai Church in Bunkley from 11 to 11:20 a.m.
• Mount Olive Church in Kirby from 11:35 a.m. to 12:05 p.m.
• Hamburg store from 12:20 to 12:40 p.m.
• Roxie Town Hall-Park from 11 to 11:20 a.m.
• Roxie BP gas station from 11:25 to 11:45 a.m.
• Lower Bunkley Road-Highway 33 South from 11:55 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.
• Zion Church in Whiteapple from 12:25 to 1 p.m.
Kent said delivery times at the four distribution points are estimates which could vary on factors such as demand.
In addition to the food distribution, children can pick up at-home, grade-level printed assignments to help continue learning at home.
The packets are the same as student lessons being distributed via the school district’s website.
Kent encouraged students and parents to work together on the assignments, and those with questions about the assignments can contact their respective school by phone.