Clayton Schools is expanding its effort to get meals in the hands of children and families by doubling the number of food distribution sites and joining forces with the Atlanta Community Food Bank.
The south metro school district on Wednesday added 11 new distribution sites to the 10 it has been operating since Monday, leaders said. They also expanded food pick up hours, allowing residents to simultaneously pick up breakfast and lunch between 9 a.m. and noon.
“As our district continues to monitor the impact the coronavirus pandemic has on our nation, we understand we must do what we can to ensure that we serve our community to the full extent of our ability,” Clayton Schools Superintendent Morcease Beasley said in a release.
“We have a diverse population within our county and we understand the challenges association with traveling great distances to participate in the meal service opportunity,” Beasley said. “By adding more locations, we hope to mitigate some of those challenges for our students and their families.”
Clayton Schools, like all districts in metro Atlanta, closed its doors indefinitely on Monday because of the coronavirus outbreak. Officials fear that move left the many students who depend on school breakfast and lunch without a meal and the district with thousands of apples, oranges and vegetables that would otherwise rot.
The distribution sites include these elementary schools: Church Street, Edmonds, Fountain, Huie, Jackson, King, Lake Ridge, Lee Street, Pointe South, Tara and West Clayton. Eddie White Academy also is a distribution site.
Middle Schools include Kendrick, Morrow, Rex Mill and North Clayton while participating high schools include Mt. Zion, Munday’s Mill, Lovejoy and Riverdale.
On March 27, the district and the Atlanta Community Food Bank will provide groceries to families of the school system every Friday at Huie, King, Tara and West Clayton elementary schools and at Lovejoy High School.
"We've partnered with Clayton County Public Schools, and more, to deliver food to school sites for families and children in need," Kyle Waide, President and CEO of Atlanta Community Food Bank, said in an email.
"This food will supplement the food the school districts are already distributing to kids through the cafeterias they have opened during this crisis,” he said. “In addition to these distributions, you can find a food bank or pantry closest to you by visiting our website: www.acfb.org. It's important now more than ever to support our community, especially during this time of uncertainty."
The district and the food bank are seeking volunteers to help package the food every Thursday at 8 a.m. and to distribute the food each Friday at 8 a.m. Those interested are asked to reach out to the district via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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