When we faced the possibility of closing schools for virtual learning last March, one of our immediate concerns involved feeding thousands of students and families who depended on school meals for nutrition day-in and day-out.
Our Nutrition Department led by Dr. Marilyn Hughes, our food vendor SFE, and numerous community partners created a massive new food distribution network that grew and grew to the point of involving more than 400 volunteers and help from the National Guard and the Fulton County Sheriff’s Department as they distributed about 160,000 meals every Monday.
Today, we distributed the last meal of the current school year.
After a break for Memorial Day week, APS will extend its feeding program into the early part of the summer with the help of our generous partners. The program will resume for three Mondays in June (1st, 8th, and 15th) with five-day meal packs for children prepared by us and delivered by key partners.
Here’s how our new plan will work:
As part of the program, the district will provide a scaled-back service with spending authority approved through June 30. This is the best option for a cost-neutral effort for APS given the current budget pressures.
While the student meal distribution from our ESOL team also concluded today, our designated ESOL communities in the Grady and North Atlanta clusters with receive the student meals for three Mondays in June from La Amistad, one of our generous partners. Grocery distribution from the APS ESOL team to these families will end on Tuesday, May 19; however, plans are in the works with additional partners for summer groceries for approximately 1,000 ESOL families across the entire district.
Each Monday, SFE will produce 20,000 (10,000 breakfast/10,000 lunch) meals from a central school distribution site and deliver 500 five-day meal packs to various partners where APS students will be supported this summer. The food will be provided to Horizons, Breakthrough, and the Boys and Girls Club to be distributed to families enrolled in their feeding programs. The weekly grocery parcels from the Atlanta Community Food Bank will be delivered to other partners.
Families can contact the APS Office of Partnerships and Development, GOODR, and other partners or use the Atlanta Community Food Bank’s Food Finder mobile app to find other food sources.
As always, full details are available at https://www.atlantapublicschools.us/fooddistribution.