Knox County Schools summer feeding program continues due to delay in start of school year

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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — With the opening of Knox County Schools delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic, the summer feeding program resumed Wednesday.

WATE 6 On Your Side’s Don Dare was at one of the sites where meals were handed out.

There are 20 curbside locations around Knoxville and Knox County where the school meals are given to students – breakfast and lunch.

Knoxville Parks and Recreation workers provided the courteous curb-side pick-up service today.  

It was just a few weeks ago when the summer meals program ended. But then the opening of Knox County schools was pushed forward.

“We have re-implemented summer feeding, grab and go for today, next Monday, and next Wednesday to bridge the gap between the extended school closure start date pushed forward to August 24th,” Brett Foster, Knox County Schools nutrition director, said.

Any parent or guardian who drives up with a Knox County school student inside was eligible for the free meals. 

“Each day they come they get multiple meals. So they are getting three breakfast and three lunches today for each child present,” Judith Pelot, CAC nutrition manager, said.

“I think it’s pretty good for the kids. It helps carry us out,” guardian Elaine Rives said.

This distribution site was at Victor Ashe Park. Other pick up locations include all city/county recreational centers, several churches, and a skating rink. 

“It is good to see kids, smiling faces, good to see parents. And also be around our fellow employees who for a while we were social distancing and stay away. This program has been great for the community,” Aaron Browning, department director of Parks and Recreation, said.

Frances Anderson says the free meals help daughter out and her grandson loves the food.

“He gets excited about coming to get his lunch. He says we are going to go and get school lunch today. And, financially, she’s a single mother, so it really helps,” Anderson said.

  The Grab and Go summer meals continue next Monday and Wednesday.

“We wanted to make sure that no student was left without a meal. While we were waiting for the school system to start their programs,” Pelot said.

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