Coweta Schools Offering Free Breakfast and Lunch For children during School Closures

Staff Report From Newnan CEO

Wednesday, March 18th, 2020

The Coweta County School System’s school nutrition program began feeding children at six sites around the county on Tuesday.

That will expand to seven sites on Wednesday, March 18, as Coweta Schools provides an opportunity for families to drive through and pick up free meals for children at the sites during the school closure.

Brooks Elementary Lunchroom Manager Diane Hurley, and Jefferson Parkway Lunchroom Manager Alecia Maes served meals at Jefferson Parkway Elementary School from 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.  In all, they handed out 86 breakfasts and lunch to children to take home.

“Everybody was so appreciative,” said Hurley.  “They were saying how much of a blessing it was, and they were thankful.”

“It went really well today,” said Coweta County School Nutrition Director Keshia Williams, who organized Coweta’s participation in the federal Summer Feeding program.  The new program was only recently approved by the Coweta County School Board, and provided the basis for Coweta Schools’ ability to serve families during the current school closures.

Williams said nearly 800 meals were served Tuesday, and the demand is expected to grow in the coming days and weeks.

“We were ecstatic to be able to reach that many people in our community,” she said.  “To know that 398 kids can lay their head down tonight and have had a breakfast and lunch makes everything we do worth it.”

Locations around the county on Wednesday and beyond are listed below. 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)

Arnco-Sargent Elementary School (pick-up at car-rider zone, Highway 16)

Ruth Hill Elementary School (pick-up in car-rider zone, Sunset Lane)

Jefferson Parkway Elementary School (pick-up in car-rider zone, Farmer Industrial Blvd.)

Smokey Road Middle School (pick-up in bus-loading zone, Smokey Road)

Winston Dowdell 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 will be offered from 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.  Drive-through only. Meal bags will be picked up at the vehicle, as long as supplies last, on weekdays.

This program and these meals are for children 18 and under, or 21 and under for youth with special needs. Children must be present in the vehicle 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. A breakfast and a lunch will be provided for each child.

This program will be solely for the pick-up of meals, as meals will not be consumed on-site. If a student currently receives a documented Special Diet Meal Accommodation through the School Nutrition Program, parents can let Williams know if the student will need to participate in the pick-up meal service during the school closure. If so, the team will need to carefully plan a modified meal accommodation.

Williams is coordinating the implementation of the meal accommodation, and can be reached at 404-971-5198 with any questions regarding special diets.

The school system currently plans for this program to continue at the above sites throughout the duration of the school closure period.  Sites will be available at the above locations 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. weekdays.

School nutrition employees at the sites are also working with school SROs and school system transportation staff to coordinate the sites each day. The school system plans to adjust and expand the program throughout this period based upon demand.