Coweta Schools Serve over 16,000 Meals to Children over First Two Weeks of School Closures
Monday, March 30th, 2020
On the first day of student meal service during the current school closure, Coweta County school nutrition employees passed out 860 breakfasts and lunches to children.
By the end of that first week, March 20, 5,823 meals had been provided to out-of-school students at seven school sites across Coweta County. During the second week, March 23 through March 27, 10,190 more student breakfasts and lunches were given out, for 16,013 meals provided during the two weeks of school closures.
“It’s just been a great response,” said Coweta County School Nutrition Director Keshia Williams, who organized Coweta’s participation in the federal Summer Feeding program which allows Coweta’s response during the crisis. “The community has really embraced it, and our staff members have been so happy to participate. The need is definitely there.”
The emergency meal program provides an opportunity for families to drive through and pick up free meals for children at the sites on weekdays that the students would have otherwise been in school. The sites were selected because they are centrally located and easily reachable for many families. They are:
Newnan High School
(pick up at bus loading zone, Armory Road)
Elementary School (pick-up at car-rider zone, Highway 16)
Ruth Hill Elementary
School (pick-up in car-rider zone, Sunset Lane)
Elementary School (pick-up in car-rider zone, Farmer Industrial Blvd.)
Smokey Road Middle
School (pick-up in bus-loading zone, Smokey Road)
Academy (pick-up in car-rider zone, Dowdell Street)
East Coweta High
School (pick-up in car-rider loop, near front office, Highway 154)
All meals are offered from 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. on weekdays that students would be in school. Meals are for drive-through pick-up only. Meals include one lunch and one breakfast per child for children 18 and under, or 21 and under for youth with special needs.
Children must be present in order for meals to be provided, and any child present at any site will be served regardless of enrollment or where they go to school
If a student currently receives a documented Special Diet Meal Accommodation through the School Nutrition Program and wishes to participate, parents can let Williams know by calling 404-971-5198.
Coweta’s participation in the emergency school meal program was made possible because the school system had earlier applied to be a part of the federal USDA’s Summer Food Service Program. That program will provide on-site meals and snacks during the summer break to students who receive free and reduced price meals.
The Coweta County Board of Education approved Coweta’s participation in the program on March 10, only a few days before school closures began. The system’s participation, however, allowed Coweta Schools to provide the emergency pick-up food service during the closures.
The school system currently plans for this program to continue at the above sites throughout the duration of the school closure period. Because the program guidelines only allow meal service during the time that students would otherwise be in school, the program can’t provide meals on weekends or during the upcoming April 6-10 Spring Break period.
Meal service will continue through Friday, April 3 of this coming week, and resume on Monday, April 13.
Coweta County’s Backpack Buddies organization was also at the seven school sites on both Fridays, March 20 and 27, to provide parents with bags of donated food for the coming weekend
School nutrition employees from across Coweta County work at the seven Coweta school sites work with school SROs, school system transportation staff and school faculty to coordinate the sites each day. The school system plans to adjust and expand theprogram throughout this period based upon demand.