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Wake County News > Posts > Wake County Adds More Food Distribution Sites For Students And Families
May 12
Wake County Adds More Food Distribution Sites For Students And Families

More than 900,000 meals and 10,000 emergency food boxes have been distributed to children and families across Wake County since March 16, thanks to staff at Wake County Public Schools and volunteers at community food distribution sites.

To help expand food distribution to even more residents, WCPSS has opened an additional six school distribution sites and four new bus routes to deliver food to specific neighborhoods.

They bring our total number of distribution sites to 138. These new locations help fill gaps in communities where access to healthy meals can be a challenge.

The Inter-Faith Food Shuttle will also travel throughout the county with help from the National Guard to increase distribution efforts in the coming weeks.

“This is a stunning show of collaboration between our partners and volunteers,” said Wake County Board of Commissioners Chairman Greg Ford. “I’m so proud that, together, we’re finding ways to share healthy meals at no cost to children and families who might otherwise go hungry during this difficult time.”

Wake County’s partners in the food program include:

“We are so grateful for our dedicated child nutrition staff and bus drivers who have stepped up from day one to ensure our children have healthy food,” said Wake County Board of Education Chair Keith Sutton. “We know many people are experiencing increased anxiety during this pandemic, and we hope we can help relieve some of the stress associated with providing basic needs, like food. In addition, we know that children are less able to focus on learning when they are hungry. By helping to meet this basic need, we hope students are more likely to learn and remain healthy while our school buildings are closed.”

These programs are primarily funded through the USDA’s reimbursement funding for Wake County’s Summer Feeding program. Normally, this program runs during the summer months and provides meals to students and families when school is out. Due to COVID-19, the partners have decided to launch distribution earlier than ever before.

“For many kids, the meals they get at school are the only nutritious meals they eat all day,” said Katherine Williams, Wake County Cooperative Extension director. “With COVID-19 causing schools to close, these students needed help immediately, and we jumped into action earlier than expected to provide them with nutritious food during this crisis.”

More than 80% of children from low-income families experience limited access to nutritious meals when out of school. In 2018, more than 41,000 children in Wake County were food insecure.

To help with additional food expenses, North Carolina has been approved for the Pandemic-EBT (P-EBT) program which aims to provide extra help for families buying groceries. Information on this program can be found by visiting the NCDHHS Human Services webpage.

For an up-to-date listing of all meal sites, food pantries, mobile food markets and emergency food boxes, visit the Wake County COVID-19 website. For those who wish to help, food donations can be taken to the Inter-Faith Food Shuttle or Food Bank of Central and Eastern NC.


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