Carter County distributes 459 meals to children on Wednesday

John Thompson • Mar 18, 2020 at 9:04 PM

ELIZABETHTON — The Carter County School System was closed Wednesday for the first day of the unscheduled break for the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). It was also the first day of the school system’s food distribution to children who might be dependent on the school nutrition program for a substantial portion of their diet.

“The first day went well,” said Lindsey Feathers, the system’s director of school nutrition. “We served 459 meals, which is more than we serve in our summer program.”

Feathers said there were a lot of volunteers who helped the food distribution go smoothly. This included teachers, principals, and system supervisors monitoring each of the five distribution sites. Since these are new distribution locations and no one knows the traffic pattern, school resource officers were on duty at each of the five schools. All sites are drive-thrus and there is no dining in the cafeteria.

The sites are set up in parking lots outside school cafeterias. Parents or guardians may drive to the distribution site, where staff will hand a meal to each child in the vehicle. Children must be present to receive a meal. All children 18 and under may receive a meal. There is no charge for the meal, regardless of the income level of the family.

Breakfast and lunch will be served from noon to 1 p.m. Monday through Friday. Schools will not be open to the public and only approved school system staff members will be allowed inside the buildings.

The five locations this week are: Cloudland Elementary School, Hampton High School, Hunter Elementary, Happy Valley Elementary, and Little Milligan Elementary.

“Things are going to get bigger and better next week,” Feathers said. The distribution will get bigger, she said, because it will receive help from volunteers in the communities.

These volunteers will deliver the food to distribution points in 10 communities. The meals will be distributed from noon to 12:30 p.m. Children must be present to receive a meal.

Those 10 sites are:

• Burbank Freewill Baptist Church, 122 Burbank Road, Roan Mountain.

• Simerly Creek Believer's Fellowship Church, 806 Simerly Creek Road, Hampton.

• Swimming Pool Road Community, 167 Swimming Pool Road, Hampton.

• Charity Hill Freewill Baptist Church, 1353 Charity Hill Road, Elizabethton.

• Buladean Grocery, 2473 Tenn. Highway 91, Elizabethton.

• Keenburg Elementary School, 139 Keenburg Road, Elizabethon.

• Watauga City Hall, 103 W. 4th Ave., Watauga.

• Meadowbrook Mobile Home Village, 123 Reese’s Road, Johnson City.

• Elk Mills Volunteer Fire Department, 107 Poga Road, Butler.

• Butler Trading Post, 107 Poga Road, Butler.

Feathers said the volunteers who are delivering the food to the distribution sites are from area churches: Burbank Freewill Baptist; Hampton Christian; Pearce’s Chapel Freewill Baptist; Lynn Valley Baptist; Pleasant Beach Baptist; Harmony Freewill Baptist; and Little Milligan Baptist.


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