The Newnan Times-Herald


Schools serve thousands in first two weeks

  • By Rebecca Leftwich
  • |
  • Apr. 01, 2020 - 2:27 PM

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Schools serve thousands in first two weeks

Photo courtesy Coweta Schools

Newnan High School cafeteria employees, faculty, staff and SRO’s have handed out more than 2,000 emergency student meals at the school since the program began March 17. Newnan High is one of seven sites across the county that provide student meals for pick-up during the school closure.

On the first day of student meal service during the current school closure, Coweta County school nutrition employees passed out 860 breakfasts and lunches to children.

By the end of that week, 5,823 meals had been provided to out-of-school students at seven school sites across Coweta County. Last week, nearly 12,000 additional student breakfasts and lunches were given out, for a total of 16,013 meals provided during the two weeks of school closures.

“It’s just been a great response,” said Coweta County School Nutrition Director Keshia Williams, who organized Coweta’s participation in the federal Summer Feeding program that allowed for Coweta’s response during the crisis. “The community has really embraced it, and our staff members have been so happy to participate. The need is definitely there.”

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.

Those sites include:

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, Farmer Industrial Boulevard

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

All meals are offered from 11 a.m. to noon on weekdays that students would be in school. Meals are for drive-through pick-up only. Meals include one lunch and one breakfast per child for children 18 and under, or 21 and under for youths with special needs.

Children must be present in order for meals to be provided, and any child present at any site will be served regardless of enrollment or where they go to school.

For special dietary accommodation, call Williams at 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 and snacks during the summer break to students who receive free and reduced-price meals.

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 allowed Coweta Schools to provide the emergency pick-up food service during the closures.

The school system plans for the food service program to continue at the above sites throughout the duration of the school closure period. Because the program guidelines only allow meal service during the time that students would otherwise be in school, the program can’t provide meals on weekends or during the upcoming April 6-10 spring break period.

Meal service will continue through Friday, April 3 of this coming week, and resume on Monday, April 13.

Coweta County’s Backpack Buddies organization was also at the seven school sites on both Fridays to provide parents with bags of donated food for the weekends.