MADISON COUNTY, Ala. – The Madison County Schools Summer Food Service Program provided nearly 45,000 from mid-March to August, that’s way up from the 17,000 meals last summer.
In March, State Superintendent Dr. Eric Mackey announced school buildings would close for the remainder of the school year to slow the spread of COVID-19. Thats when Madison County School officials knew they needed to start their summer food service program early.
“About 37% of our students receive free or reduced meals throughout the school year,” says Madison County Director of Equity and Innovation Dr. Rachel Ballard.
With record number unemployment rates in the spring, the school district realized it would be a need to continue serving meals for the summer.
“One of the first things Superintendent Perkins made very clear is that no child in our system will be left hungry. We’re going to feed our students,” says Ballard
Dr. Rachel Ballard says in the summer of 2019 they served 17,000 meals.
“Our summer program, typically we feed only at our summer camp sites but because of the YMCA Brown Bags bus program we were able to offer meals throughout the summer,” says Ballard.
But with the help of community organizations they were able to distribute nearly 45,000 meals in the summer of 2020.
“We live in a smart community and so together we were able to develop plan to insure than no student in Madison County School system would be hungry,” says Ballard.
The current meal program will end August 14th but Dr. Ballard says they are working on a new game plan for the first nine weeks of school.
“If they are students who receive free or reduced meals they can still receive those meals,” says Ballard.
Ballard says Madison County is also working with partners who will be serving meals over the weekend when school resumes.