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Valley K-12 schools plan winter break meal distributions

Published: Dec. 6, 2021 at 10:33 PM EST
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HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) - Many students in the Shenandoah Valley depend on their school to get breakfast and lunch every weekday. With winter break around the corner, some schools have plans to keep students fed at home.

Harrisonburg City Public Schools (HCPS) is partnering with the Blue Ridge Area Food Bank to get 1,000 non-perishable food items out to families in the Friendly City.

“Typically it’s canned vegetables, pasta, some type of protein, so tuna, chicken, things like that,” Andrea Early, the Director of School Nutrition for HCPS, said.

HCPS will give those out on Thursday, Dec. 16 at the Skyline Middle School bus loop and at Harrisonburg High School in the north parking lot from 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.

“We’ll also use this as an opportunity to distribute any perishable items that we see we may have a surplus inventory of in our school cafeterias,” Early said. “Things that wouldn’t make it through the break, so things like fresh produce, milk, yogurt.”

For Page County Public School (PCPS) students, they will be offered a bag with 12 snacks on their last day before winter break, Friday, Dec. 17.

“Additionally, we are working on plans to take meals on the bus, which is our mobile feeding bus, out into the community twice during breaks,” Jenny Jeffries, the Supervisor of Nutritional Services at PCPS, said. “At that point, we would be handing out breakfast and snacks for the five days, Monday through Friday, of each of those weeks.”

Jeffries said there may be additional food items to give depending on donations from Page Alliance for Community Action (PACA) and Page One.

The mobile bus will be stopping in Luray, Shenandoah, and Stanley on Monday, Dec. 20 and Monday, Dec. 27.

“We’re planning to have a, hopefully, centralized location in each one of our towns, and then people would come to the bus to get those meals,” Jeffries said.

She said those plans are being finalized in the coming days, then Page County families will be notified.

For Rockingham County Public School (RCPS) students, there is no plan to serve meals over the winter break.

Jennifer Williams, the Supervisor of Food and Nutrition Services for RCPS, told WHSV in an email that the school “will continue to offer students a free breakfast and lunch during the school day and continue this in January 2022 for the remainder of the school year.”

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