In light of the announcement by Gov. Ralph Northam that school will be out for the remainder of the school year, Rockingham County Public Schools has amended its food distribution plan.
Beginning next week, meals will be available on Mondays and Wednesdays from 4 to 6 p.m. at the nine locations that have been used so far — Fulks Run Elementary School, Lacey Spring Elementary School, Montevideo Middle School, Ottobine Elementary School, Plains Elementary School, Pleasant Valley Elementary School, River Bend Elementary School, South River Elementary School and Pence Middle School.
Children ages 2 to 18, accompanied by a parent, will be able to pick up two breakfast and two supper meals on Mondays, for a total of four meals, and three breakfast and three supper meals on Wednesdays, for a total of six meals.
The idea is to limit the number of times that families need to travel to a school for meals, but they will receive the same number of meals that are being distributed this week.
Children do not need to be Rockingham County Public Schools students to receive meals. Families can pick up meals at any of the nine locations.
No adult meals will be available, paid or free.
In addition, Rockingham County announced a partnership with its Fire and Rescue Department and Hope Distributed food bank to get even more food to families.
This Saturday, 10 staff members from Rockingham Fire and Rescue will pack 250 boxes of food at Hope Distributed. Each box will contain 50 pounds of food for each family served. On Monday and Tuesday, fire and rescue personnel will deliver boxes of food to all 23 schools in the division for families to come pick up. If a family is unable to come pick up a box, fire and rescue personnel will deliver the box to their home.
School administrators and counselors have identified and contacted families that would benefit from the donation. One box is meant to provide food and staples that will last a month.
This service will continue monthly during the COVID-19 pandemic while schools are closed, and partners are hoping it will continue past that time as well.
Hope Distributed gets most of its food from the Blue Ridge Area Food Bank in Verona. People wanting to support either organization can make donations to either Hope Distributed or the food bank.
For more information contact Fire and Rescue Chief Jeremy Holloway at 564-3175 or Hope Distributed at 578-3510.