Summer feeding program kicks off Monday

Published 6:18 pm Thursday, June 11, 2020

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Every summer, thousands of local families rely on Beaufort County Schools’ summer feeding program to ensure that children have access to healthy, nutritious meals while school is out for the season.

Over the years, Gwyn Roberson-McBride has seen firsthand the impact the program has for local children. Formerly the child nutrition director for Beaufort County Schools, Roberson-McBride has taken on a new role this summer with Cornerstone Family Worship Center Community Based Programs. Part of her job is helping administer a $650,000 grant from the Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust to expand summer feeding operations throughout the county.

“We’ve added more community sites, which is the main target for the summer feeding program … sites out more in the rural areas, so the children and parents can have better access,” Roberson-McBride said.

The 2020 summer feeding program begins Monday and ends July 31. Meals are available for all Beaufort County children and teens, ages 1 to 18, with no registration or identification required. All told, there will be 23 sites throughout the county where kids can get a hot meal this summer, as well as three breakfasts and two lunches to take home on the weekends.

Normally, these meals are provided in a congregate setting throughout the summer, where kids sit down and eat together. This year, however, families are encouraged to pick up their meals to eat elsewhere due to the potential spread of COVID-19.

“It will be set up as a drive-thru, much like it was the last quarter of school,” Roberson-McBride said. “The parents will just drive through; the child does not have to be with them. They’ll tell employees how many meals they need, they’ll pack them up and the parent will pick them up from a table.”

School sites will be open from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. each day. Community site times will vary, so families are encouraged check at each site. School sites will be located at Eastern Elementary, John Cotten Tayloe Elementary, Northeast Elementary, Chocowinity Primary and SW Snowden Elementary.
Community sites include:

  • Fresh Anointing Worship in Aurora;
  • Ware Creek Missionary Baptist Church in Blounts Creek;
  • Temple of Joy in Chocowinity;
  • The Belhaven Civic Center;
  • Zion Temple Free Will Baptist church in Pantego.

Multiple sites will serve communities in Washington, including:

  • Beebe Chapel CME Church;
  • A site on Cherry Run Road;
  • The Boys & Girls Club, Washington unit;
  • Cornerstone Family Worship Center;
  • River Road Estates;
  • The Salvation Army Family Store;
  • A site at Thomas Lane (Ashmata).

In addition to adding new sites throughout the county, another component of the Kate B. Reynolds grant is building year-round community hubs in Aurora, Chocowinity, Pantego/Belhaven, Blounts Creek and Washington. These sites will act as food pantries for families during the year and will also provide health and wellness services in partnership with the Beaufort County Health Department, the Beaufort County Department of Social Services and Vidant Health.