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Kelly Sexton, cafeteria manager at Green Valley School, supervises the distribution of food at a feeding site that began operations at Green Valley School on March 17.

WATAUGA — Watauga County Schools served 404 children at five feeding sites across the county on March 17, the first day of the food distribution system implemented while schools have been ordered closed.

"We fed 404 children at five sites today, but we know many more families can benefit from this," Superintendent Scott Elliott tweeted. "We plan to add two additional sites on Monday. Great work, team!"

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.

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From left, Calista Giles, Miranda Brown, Donna Greene and Melissa Miller gather meals together for families at the food pickup site at Green Valley School on March 17.

All children and students 18 and younger may get free meals at these sites regardless of where they live or attend school in Watauga County. Parents from any school may pick up takeout meals at any of the designated sites in a drive-through line.

Meals will be similar to what students receive from a normal school lunch/breakfast and will include items like sandwiches, vegetables and salads along with milk fruit and juice.

On Wednesday, March 18, school facilities opened for parents to pick up student belongings and materials prepared by teachers for remote learning and to check out laptop computers (if a computer is needed). Pickup times per grade level are as follows:

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Student belongings and materials for remote learning are grouped together by classroom in preparation for pickup at Green Valley School.

Wednesday, March 18

  • 8th graders: from 8 a.m. until 10 a.m.
  • 7th graders: from 10:30 a.m until 12:30 p.m.
  • 6th graders: from 1 p.m. until 3 p.m.

Thursday, March 19

  • 5th graders: from 8 a.m. until 10 a.m.
  • 4th graders: from 10:30 a.m until 12:30 p.m.
  • 3th graders: from 1 p.m. until 3 p.m.

Friday, March 20

  • 2nd graders: from 8 a.m. until 10 a.m.
  • 1st graders: from 10:30 a.m until 12:30 p.m.
  • Kindergarteners and Pre-K: from 1 p.m. until 3 p.m.
  • Make up session: Friday, March 20 from 3 p.m until 6 p.m. for all grade levels

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.

Parents who need to pick up medication from the school nurse should call the school office and make arrangements to collect medication at one of the times above, the school system stated. If medication is needed sooner, then parents should call the school office to arrange a time to visit.

The district’s remote learning plan will be implemented starting Monday, March 23.

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