VILAS — The meal distribution site that has operated at Brushy Fork Baptist Church since schools were closed by a state order in mid-March moved to Cove Creek School starting Monday, May 11.
The Cove Creek site will serve dinner and breakfast for the next day and will be open from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. each weekday. Families are not required to have a student enrolled at Cove Creek School to receive a meal from the site. All children 18 and younger may pick up a meal at any of the Watauga County Schools’ seven sites regardless of enrollment or means.
Watauga County Schools plans to continue the meal service and delivery until at least May 29, and will plan for summer meal distribution based on funding from the state and community needs.
While the school system plans to continue feeding for as long as possible, Superintendent Scott Elliott said some families were still working to pay off school lunch debt accrued earlier in the year.
“Several community members have asked how they can help support our families, and donating to pay off school lunch debt is one way to help alleviate a real worry and financial need for some of our families,” Elliott said.
As of the last day students were in school on March 13, students had total lunch charges debt of $14,660. During the May 11 meeting of the Watauga Board of Education, Elliott mentioned that the school’s Child Nutrition program is an enterprise fund and must raise it’s own revenue.
Elliott said students often charge for breakfast or lunch when their families do not have the money right away to pay for a meal. This is money families would normally be required to pay at the end of the school year, but Elliott said many of those families are now experiencing even more difficult financial circumstances due to unemployment.
Elliott also mentioned during the May 11 meeting that the We Can So You Can foundation presented the Keep Boone Healthy Virtual Walk/Run/Just Move event on April 25. Community members were encouraged so sign up for the event, wear a race bib as they would with a 5K or marathon and then be active in some capacity. Participants were also urged to donate to any of the nine organizations suggested — one of which was Watauga County Schools.
According to Elliott, WCS received $2,540 in donations from community members of the community that will be put toward the $14,660 meal debt.
Donations towards school lunch debt can be made by mail to Watauga County Schools Child Nutrition at 175 Pioneer Trail in Boone. For more information, call (828) 264-7190.