School district continues food program
Putnam County School District students will not go hungry because free meal pickups at local schools will continue through Dec. 31.
Nikki Hawthorne, the district’s food service director, said anyone can pick up food 9:30–10:30 a.m. on Mondays for students without a child having to be present.
“We’re able to feed anybody in the county 18 and under at any school location,” she said. “Everybody will be handed meals to last all the way through Sunday.”
Even children who are not enrolled in the Putnam County School District can receive meals. The meals are a continuation of the summer feeding program and were made possible by a waiver from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Hawthorne said meals can be picked up at any school, except charter schools. Seven breakfasts and seven lunches will be given out in the drive-thru line. Residents do not need to call ahead to pick up meals.
Students who attend classes in-person will be able to take home meals Thursday. The to-go bags will have two breakfasts and two lunches.
Superintendent Rick Surrency said the district still knows there is a need for a program like this in the county, especially with online learning this year.
“It’s incumbent on the school system to make sure we are there providing the basic meals for our students. Just because they have chosen home learning, it should not keep them from having access to our food service program,” Surrency said.
“I think our food service people have done a wonderful job.”
Hawthorne said she has seen students who come in hungry on Mondays and admit they barely ate over the weekend.
“I do think being able to send home those bags (of food) is going to be a real help,” Hawthorne said.
“We’re excited the USDA put this waiver out.”