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BOONE — While state officials have mandated that schools close for students until March 30, Watauga County Schools child nutrition staff are planning ways to continue providing meals to those in need.

Beginning Tuesday, March 17, Watauga County Schools will operate five feeding sites across the county. Parents from any school may pick up takeout meals at any of the designated sites in a drive-through line.

Lunch and a packed breakfast for the next day will be served at Bethel, Mabel and Green Valley schools from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. each of the days that schools are closed for students.

Dinner and breakfast for the next day will be served at Hardin Park School and Brushy Fork Baptist Church — located at 3915 U.S. 421 N. in Vilas — from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. each of the days school is closed for students. Meals will be similar to what students receive from a normal school lunch and breakfast and will include items like sandwiches, vegetables and salads along with milk, fruit and juice.

"All children (18 and younger) may get free meals at these sites regardless of where they live or attend school in Watauga County," the school system stated.

If families are unable to make use of any of the established feeding sites and are in need of food, they are advised to contact the main office of the school a student attends and ask for more information.

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