Kids meals program

Volunteers stand ready outside the Mary Vinson Memorial Library to hand out free meals to kids home from school. The Baldwin County School District crossed the 10,000-meal threshold with Monday’s service.

At a time when many are concerned with data and statistics, so is Baldwin County Schools nutrition director Susan Nelson, though the numbers she’s keeping up with won’t likely make the national evening news.

With schools closed and kids now remaining at home to help stop the spread of coronavirus COVID-19, Nelson, her staff and volunteers quickly implemented the school district’s summer meals program to help ensure kids remain fed during this unexpected and extended school break. The school nutrition director reported Tuesday that over 10,500 meals have been given to local kids for free since the program kicked off last Tuesday. That number does not take yesterday’s service into account. 

The school district is reaching kids in a couple of ways. First, through several pickup points placed throughout Milledgeville like the Mary Vinson Memorial Library and the Collins P. Lee Center. Second, four bus routes are running to deliver to kids out in the community who may not be able to make it to a static pickup location. Kids from birth to 18 years old, no matter what school they attend, are eligible for these free meals.

A slight change is being put into place beginning Thursday to cut down staff and volunteer exposure to the public. Tomorrow the school district will go ahead and give out meals for Thursday and Friday in an effort to limit contact. That practice will continue as the program moves forward with deliveries occurring on Mondays and Thursdays per Nelson. Those participating are encouraged to keep an eye on the Baldwin County School Nutrition Facebook page for further announcements and possible changes. With two days’ worth of meals being packed and delivered to kids all at once, the school district is in need of never-used plastic grocery bags — about 15,000 per week as long as the program continues. Two local grocery stores have stepped up, but more will be needed. Any businesses able and willing to donate are asked to contact the school nutrition director via email at susan.nelson@baldwin.k12.ga.us. 

Nelson wanted to thank her staff and volunteers for all their hard work during this time of unexpected heavy workload.

 

 

 

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