From Barbara Jacoby, Chief Communications Officer of Cherokee County School District:
CCSD is expanding its school closure to-go student meals program to include additional sites and to extend to Spring Break.
Superintendent of Schools Dr. Brian V. Hightower said, although CCSD will not earn federal funding reimbursement for the additional sites or for feeding students during spring break, it is the right thing to do.
"We are committed to making sure our students do not experience hunger, and we know our community will join us in this effort," he said. "We already have received financial donations to support the program, and we are making it even easier for neighbors to donate by now accepting credit card payments online."
During the school closure, CCSD School Nutrition is providing students in need with to-go bags of a week's worth of breakfasts and lunches. These meals are being distributed on Mondays at school and community sites to every child present age infant to 18. The first distribution, which was held on Monday, provided meals to 2,300 students.
CCSD anticipates it will receive some reimbursement from USDA for the cost for these meals, which is $26.25 per child per week. Currently, the cost to distribute the to-go bags is being covered by USDA funds for CCSD's summer meals program. Additionally, the USDA reimbursement would not cover meals distributed during spring break or for distribution at schools that don't meet specific demographic requirements … which is where community donations also will cover the gaps.
As a result of Dr. Hightower's declaration, the to-go meal distribution will be held Monday, March 23, as planned, and also will be held on Monday, March 30, and Monday, April 6. In addition to the 10 school sites and four community sites already used for distribution, beginning on Monday, March 23, meals also will be distributed at Creekview High School and River Ridge High School. Children can pick up meals at whatever school is closest to their home. See the full schedule of stations and pick-up times at http://bit.ly/CCSDserves.
CCSD will continue to accept financial donations for the program by check, mailed in using the online form at http://bit.ly/CCSDdonate (school staff signatures are not required), but donations now can be made instantly using a credit card at the website at http://bit.ly/CCSDgiveonline .
"We greatly appreciate every donation we have received so far, as do our students who would otherwise go hungry," Dr. Hightower said. "If any money remains in this fund when we return to regular school operations, those monies will be used to pay off unpaid meal charges students can't afford to pay off, in keeping with the original purpose of this 'angel fund.'"
CCSD cannot accept donations of food or use volunteers to help with the to-go meals distribution. CCSD Partners, including MUST Ministries (www.mustministries.org) and First Baptist Church of Woodstock (www.fbcw.org), do need donations of food and household goods to distribute to our community's families in need.