As schools close around the country, communities are working to try to feed children that depend on school for food. Children of all ages in public schools depend on school breakfast and lunch to feed them. Without school to go to every day, they’re without food.

District superintendents and administration are trying to make sure that food is available for those that need it, even if schools are closed for the foreseeable future.

Mayor Bill DeBlasio announced on March 15 that New York City Public Schools would close starting March 16. States including Ohio, Maryland, Michigan, New York, Illinois, Virginia, Oregon, Washington, California, Washington, D.C., New York, New Mexico and South Dakota have all announced public school closures.

In Georgia, State School Superintendent Richard Woods said, “We know food insecurity for students who rely on school meals is a major concern during school closures. We are going to make sure there are options available for students as long as they’re needed, and state and district school nutrition staff are working around-the-clock to get this up and running for Georgia’s kids.”

The USDA has approved extended and flexible meal options for school districts so meals can be offered in places other than schools. Food programs for schools during coronavirus closures will be similar to how meals are handled for food-insecure students in the summer.

The National School Lunch Program provides almost 30 million meals low cost or free meals a day to kids in schools. CNN suggests supporting the following organizations to help provide meals to children during coronavirus closures:

  • Feeding America, with a network of 200 food banks across the U.S., has a COVID-19 Response Fund to help food banks support communities impacted by the pandemic.
  • Save the Children will continue its work with local partners and pantries to provide nutritious meals in low-income communities.
  • Blessings in a Backpack typically feeds school children across the U.S. through the weekend, but the organization is partnering with districts that have summer feeding programs to extend services while schools are shut down.”

Apart from supporting those in need, we all play a part in taking care to reduce the spread of the disease. The CDC recommends washing your hands thoroughly often, covering your mouth when you cough or sneeze, staying inside if you’re not feeling well, and avoiding close contact with others.

Check the CDC website for more information on how to protect yourself and check our latest article to learn how COVID-19 differs from the flu. 

Scientists believe that the spread of COVID-19, or coronavirus, started at an exotic animal market in Wuhan, China. You can help stop the incidence of viruses like these by signing this petition to ban the wildlife trade.

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