Coweta Schools continue Student Meal Service through closure

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From Coweta County Schools Press Release

Coweta County School System School Nutrition employees and other system personnel resumed emergency student meal service on April 13, and will continue the service throughout the school closure.

The school system served over 27,000 lunches and breakfasts to children during the first weeks of service during the school closure. Meal service at seven school sites resumed on April 13, and provided students with nearly 2,200 breakfasts and lunches a day on the Monday and Tuesday after Spring Break. The program will continue Monday through Friday, 11 a.m. to noon throughout this week at seven school sites.

Starting on Monday, April 20, the program will add an eighth site – at Glanton Elementary School – and will change the days of service to Monday, Wednesday and Friday (see all school sites in the list below).

On Mondays and Wednesdays, students who come to the sites will be given two days of lunches and two days of breakfasts. On Fridays, students will be given a lunch and breakfast, and volunteers with Coweta County’s Backpack Buddies organization plan to continue to provide parents with bags of donated food for the coming weekend.

The changes to a Monday, Wednesday and Friday schedule are in response to CDC guidelines during the current COVID-19 epidemic. The move provides the same food to students but limits contact, and staff and volunteers at the meal distribution sites are practicing social distancing and covering using face masks while serving.

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)
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, Millard 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)
Glanton Elementary School (pick-up in car-rider zone, Highway 29) (beginning April 20)

All meals are for drive-through pick-up only. Meals include a daily lunch and breakfast per child for children 18 and under, or 21 and under for youth with special needs.

Because USDA program guidelines governing emergency student meals only allow service during the time that students would otherwise be in school, meals can’t be provided on weekends and must be provided only to age-appropriate children who arrive on-site. Any child present at any site will be served regardless of enrollment or where they go to school. As the school year comes to a close in late May, and as circumstances allow, the emergency program will transition into summer feeding programs.

School nutrition employees from across Coweta County work at the Coweta school sites working with school SROs, school system transportation staff and school faculty to coordinate the sites. If a student currently receives a documented Special Diet Meal Accommodation through the School Nutrition Program and wishes to participate, parents can let Keshia 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 during the summer break to children 18 and under, or 21 and under for youth with special needs.

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.

Coweta County School System nutrition employees Barbara Williams and Connie Osborne bag fresh baked cookies at Newnan High School for meal distribution during the closure.

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