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-Press Release, Granville County Public Schools
Monday, March 16, 2020 marked the first day Governor Cooper ordered all public schools to be closed in our state due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In the nearly 70 days since that time, Granville County Public Schools has delivered innovative and flexible services to meet the needs of our community.
We are proud to announce that this past week, the district surpassed the quarter-million meal count, and has now served 292,814 total meals to the children in Granville County during the pandemic. These high-quality, nutritional meals include many of the same items served in our regular school-based menus, including things like fresh fruit, vegetables, yogurt, cheese sticks, breakfast bars, sandwiches, pizza, nachos, and of course, our beloved tater tots! Plenty of fruit juice and fresh milk help round out each meal served, with the occasional cookie as a treat for our children.
The district’s meal service has shifted to meet demand and to minimize the risk to staff and volunteers, and in recent weeks has ramped up production to provide more than 40,000 meals a week.
Currently, the district provides drive-up service at 26 sites, and door-to-door delivery to the homes of disabled and medically fragile children. It is important to note that service is provided to ALL children aged 2-18 who request meals, regardless of which school they might attend. Students enrolled in charters, private schools or who are homeschooled are welcomed with open arms to any meal service site. Our goal is for no child in our community to be hungry while school is not physically in session.
Leading this effort across the county is Child Nutrition Director, Patricia Crute. A native of Granville County and veteran GCPS employee of 29 years, Ms. Crute offered her thoughts on the program thus far, stating, “Child nutrition has always been my passion. Being able to provide meals to our children during this time is what I feel I am supposed to do. I love knowing that my staff and I, with the help of all of the volunteers and the staff from our Transportation and Maintenance departments, are making a difference in the lives of our children.”
Superintendent Dr. Alisa McLean offered her perspective on the effort, sharing, “I could not be prouder of our team. While we couldn’t control the challenges brought on by this pandemic, we can control how we respond and continue to meet our children’s needs. I am truly grateful to the hard-working and dedicated staff in our Child Nutrition, Transportation, and Maintenance Departments, as well as our Teacher Assistants, Custodians and all of the other employees who have helped make this meal service possible. I also want to send a special ‘Thank You’ out to the countless volunteers who have also been on the front lines with us in helping make sure our children do not go hungry. We truly are blessed in this community for how we all join together in taking care of our children and making their welfare the top priority.”
The current meal service will continue through the end of the regular school year. The last day for drive-thru and delivery will be provided on Tuesday, June 2, 2020.
A modified summer feeding program is currently being planned to help meet the nutritional needs of children while school is not in session. Details about that program will be provided to families soon.