With the novel coronavirus stopping everything as we’ve known it, the thought of a child not being able to have a meal during this pandemic has moved many into action.
For some children, lunch at school may be their last meal of the day. With everything temporarily closed and social distancing in full swing, several restaurants, schools, churches and organizations have taken their place on the frontline against hunger.
Local restaurants like Jimmy Johns, Coosh’s Bayou Rouge, and Lindy’s fried chicken are giving away free kid’s meals with no purchase necessary to ease the burden.
On March 21, the Leon County Schools’ Facebook page posted an announcement notifying parents they would be providing supplemental food to students 18 and under at 14 schools between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. The post also shared there were staff and more than 140 volunteers working under CDC guidelines to ensure students receive meals during this time.
Pineview Elementary is one of those schools. Parents can pull around to the school’s cafeteria and have a staff member bring out a meal and a homework packet for their child.
Paula Pearcy, the school’s counselor and one of the volunteers, is helping the process run smoothly for families.
“A lot of our families count on school for breakfast and lunch because our families are hard-working parents but they’re the working poor and so for me, it’s important to help support them during this time,” Pearcy said.
Tiranique Brockman, mother of two, says the kindness the city has shown goes a long way.
“With all that is going on around the world, kindness goes a long way. Although I don’t have a problem feeding my children it’s still nice to know that’s one less thing for parents to stress about with restaurants offering free meals,” Brockman said.
All around the Big Bend, people are doing their part. In the small city of Greenville in Madison County, love has made a big impact. Greenville Elementary School has also opened its doors.
Third-grade teacher JaKira Moore has had boots on the ground during pick-up times.
“Our first priority is the children. We want them to be safe but more importantly, we want them to be fed and feel like we have their backs,” Moore said.
No one can gauge just how long this pandemic will grip the world, but there are people committed to feeding children for as long as it takes.
For more information about how to get your child a meal, visit www.fighthunger.org/needhelp