Schools look out for student needs amidst closure

Published 4:50 pm Monday, March 16, 2020

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Beaufort County Schools students saw some familiar faces in unfamiliar circumstances Monday, as the school system served 775 drive-thru meals at five local schools throughout the county.

According to BCS Child Nutrition Director Gwyn Roberson-McBride, the service will continue every weekday from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. while schools remain closed to students.

“We feel like, just hearing from our teachers and school principals, that this is a service that is very much needed in our community,” Roberson-McBride said. “Students will be getting two meals, a hot lunch and a shelf-stable breakfast for the next morning.”

Starting Tuesday, there will also be sites established at The Salvation Army of Washington and the Belhaven Civic Center, adding to the sites at Northeast Elementary School, Eastern Elementary School, John Cotton Tayloe Elementary School, Chocowinity Primary School and SW Snowden Elementary School that opened Monday.

Children from birth to age 18 who live in the same household as a BCS student are eligible to get a meal. Parents, babysitters, neighbors or family friends can pick up the meals, by giving the child’s name.

This weekend, the school system will continue its backpack buddies program as well, sending food home with students so they can have nutritious meals.

ORDER OUT: Kandice Moore and Charmain Gilmore prep to-go meals for students visiting Eastern Elementary Monday morning. (Matt Debnam/Daily News)

In addition, BCS is collecting names of students who may need additional help while schools are closed. Bright Futures Beaufort County, an extension of the Washington-Beaufort County Chamber of Commerce, is working with the school system to meet those needs.

Bright Futures is accepting donations to help with this effort. Checks can be made payable to “WBC Chamber Foundation – Bright Futures” and sent to WBC Chamber of Commerce, PO Box 665, Washington NC 27889.

For the kids and parents who visited the schools today, Roberson-McBride says it was a special experience.

“The parents were very thankful for the meals,” Roberson-McBride said. “We did not have a lot of time to prepare and we were able to still provide meals for their children, so they were very thankful.”

While the school system took steps to meet the basic student need of food Monday, the Beaufort County Board of Education will hold an emergency meeting this evening to determine how to best move forward in terms of student learning during the next two weeks.