Closings and delays

Guilford County Schools testing mobile summer meals program

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GUILFORD COUNTY, N.C. – Every summer, Guilford County Schools feeds thousands of meals to students as part of the Summer Nutrition Program.

This year, they’ll have at least 27 sites and are hoping churches, libraries and community groups also help out.

“Nutrition goes hand in hand with students’ education, learning, their cognitive skills,” explained Wanda Barber with GCS. “We don’t want that to drop off during the summer.”

Barber said in the past, less than 10 percent of the students eligible have actually come to the sites for meals.

“We realize in some of the places… sometimes it is just a street or highway that keeps them from getting to that meal. So if we can cross that street for them and take it to them - that’s awesome. We’ll be able to feed those kids so they don’t go hungry.”

That’s why they’re launching a mobile component of the program, using refrigerated vans to deliver meals into some neighborhoods in Greensboro and High Point.

They will have two vans this summer. They hope to update other refrigerated vehicles to help them expand the mobile idea next year.

For food safety reasons, they have to make and distribute the meals in a two hour time frame, so they hope to learn a lot about that process with the small-scale launch this summer.

Barber reminded, “We’re feeding all kids 18 years and younger, those meals are free.” Whether it’s children visiting from out of town or permanent residents, the free meals are offered to all school-aged kids and teens.

Contact School Nutrition Services to help serve meals: (336) 370-3266

Check the website mid-June for Summer Nutrition Feeding sites: http://www.gcsnc.com/pages/gcsnc/Departments/School_Nutrition_Services

Meanwhile, a national non-profit called Food Corps is also helping out at some summer nutrition school sites.

They are hosting open family garden times at four High Point schools to align with the summer feeding program.

Marissa Finn explained, “Families will come into the garden during the summer feeding time. They can harvest whatever they want, help water and weed, and maintain the garden. That’ll bring families into the garden then they can walk right by and be able to get food from the cafeteria for lunch.”

Finn says Food Corps service members work with students throughout the year in Guilford County. “We teach cooking, nutrition, gardening, all sorts of food education… we try to show how they can grow their own produce, even here in an urban environment.”

Summer 2015 Open Family Gardens:

Oak Hill Elementary
- 6/25, 7/2, 7/16
- 12:30 - 2:00 pm
- 320 Wrightenberry Street, High Point

Johnson Street Elementary
- 6/23, 6/30, 7/14
- 12:30 - 2:00 pm
- 1601 Johnson St, High Point

Fairview Elementary
- 6/24, 7/1, 7/15
- 11:30 am - 1:00 pm
- 608 Fairview St, High Point

Parkview Elementary
- 6/25, 7/9, 7/16
- 12:30 - 2:00 pm
- 325 Gordon St, High Point