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Food distribution program expanded through summer

Students will continue to receive daily meals throughout the summer under an expanded food distribution program rolled out by Suffolk Public Schools Tuesday.

Suffolk Public Schools’ Food and Nutrition Services, along with its Transportation Department, will distribute meals to families of students on Tuesdays and Thursdays throughout the summer as part of the federal Child and Adult Care Food Program, which required state Department of Education approval.

The program, in which students and families will receive three-day meal packages on Tuesdays and four-day meal packages on Thursdays, could be extended depending on what school looks like in the fall.

“This isn’t easy what they’re doing,” said Superintendent Dr. John B. Gordon III said during a recent virtual School Board meeting.

The school division had been providing breakfast and lunch to students five days per week, averaging about 1,300 meals per day, which Gordon said did not include walk-ins at King’s Fork High School.

Gordon credited Dr. Lawrence Whiting, the division’s Food and Nutrition Service director, with putting the new program together in about three weeks. Students and families will receive meal kits that will provide breakfast, lunch, dinner and a snack. Any SPS student is eligible for the program, whether they normally receive free and reduced meals at school or not.

“The plan that we have in place right now goes through the end of the summer, at a minimum,” Gordon said. “This is going to be good for our Food and Nutrition staff because they were working every day, and now, they only have to work two days.”

On the first day of the program, buses were delayed by about 30 minutes, because there are more meals to pack on the buses, and the meal packages are larger.

Gordon said one of the benefits that he and Whiting were sold on with the new meal program is that there was an extra snack and an extra meal for each day, and that it would cover students and their families even on weekends. Informal feedback the division received from parents was that while the previous meal distribution program was taking care of students from Monday through Friday, they weren’t 100 percent confident that all students were getting fed on weekends, especially with unemployment continuing to rise and people waiting on unemployment checks.

“Our goal,” Gordon said, “is to keep this program like this until our kids are back in school every day.”

The following is the food distribution schedule that began Tuesday:

Route 1 – Bus 430

  • Knights Inn Holland – Food Lion parking lot – 9 to 9:15 a.m.
  • Pioneer Elementary – 9:30 to 9:45 a.m.
  • Holland Ballfield – 9:50 to 10:15 a.m.
  • Old Pure Station at Holy Neck – 10:25 to 10:40 a.m.
  • Old Southwestern Elementary – 10:45 to 11 a.m.
  • Whaleyville Food Mart (Old J&L) – 11:20 to 11:45 a.m.
  • Whaleyville Recreation Center by fire station – 11:50 a.m. to 12:05 p.m.

Route 2 – Bus 488

  • Temple Beth-El entrance – 9 to 9:15 a.m.
  • Plummer Blvd. & Skinner Blvd. – 9:30 to 9:45 a.m.
  • Old Townpoint & Skeet – 9:55 to 10:10 a.m.
  • Brookwood Court & Brookwood Drive – 10:15 to 10:30 a.m.

Route 3 – Bus 464

  • Townpoint and Pughsville Road – Veterans Hall – 9 to 9:15 a.m.
  • 6000 Old College Dr. – 9:30 to 9:45 a.m.
  • Col. Fred Cherry Middle, front of school – 10 to 10:15 a.m.

Route 4 – Bus 14

  • Studios 4 Less – Portsmouth Boulevard – 9 to 9:15 a.m.
  • Nansemond River High, in front of school – 9:30 to 9:45 a.m.
  • Creekside Elementary – 10 to 10:15 a.m.
  • Return to reload – 10:45 to 11:15 a.m.
  • Bullock Mobile Park (all four entrances) – 11:40 a.m. to noon

Route 5 – Bus 387

  • Chuckatuck Square – 9 to 9:15 a.m.
  • Suffolk Family YMCA at Godwin Boulevard – 9:30 to 9:45 a.m.
  • King’s Landing – 10 to 10:15 a.m.
  • Return to reload – 10:25 to 10:45 a.m.
  • Majestic Drive and Squires Reach – 10:50 to 11:10 a.m.
  • Wexford East and West – 11:15 to 11:30 a.m.

Route 6 – Bus 431

  • Elephant’s Fork Elementary – 9 to 9:15 a.m.
  • Regal Inn – Pruden Boulevard – 9:30 to 9:35 a.m.
  • Sadler Pond – 9:40 to 9:45 a.m.
  • Pruden Center – 10 to 10:15 a.m.
  • Saratoga Park – 10:30 to 10:45 a.m.
  • Lakeside Park – 11 to 11:15 a.m.

Route 7 – Bus 466

  • Library Parking Lot, West Washington Street – 9 to 9:15 a.m.
  • Peanut Park – 9:30 to 9:45 a.m.
  • 2nd Avenue and Bute Street – 10 to 10:15 a.m.
  • Return to reload – 10:25 to 10:45 a.m.
  • Colander Bishop – 11 to 11:15 a.m.
  • Corner of Finney and Holladay Street – 11:30 to 11:45 a.m.

Route 8 – Bus 99

  • Kilby Shores Elementary – 9 to 9:15 a.m.
  • Suffolk Station – Office – 9:30 to 9:45 a.m.
  • Nancy Drive (Autumn Ridge and Lynnhill) – 10 to 10:15 a.m.
  • Return to reload – 10:25 to 10:45 a.m.
  • COGIC Square – 11 to 11:15 a.m.

Route 9 – Bus 467

  • Hoffler Apartments – 9 to 9:15 a.m.
  • Booker T. Washington Elementary – 9:30 to 9:45 a.m.
  • Hollywood (Community Center Pool) – 10 to 10:15 a.m.
  • Return to reload – 10:25 to 10:45 a.m.
  • Clary’s Drive and North Capitol Street – 11:15 to 11:30 a.m.
  • Suffolk Recreation Center (6th Street) – 11:45 a.m. to noon

Route 10 – Bus 468

  • Locust Street and Collier Crescent – 9 to 9:15 a.m.
  • October Station – Megan Lane and Freeney Avenue – 9:30 to 9:45 a.m.
  • Lake Kennedy (Park) – 10 to 10:15 a.m.
  • Cripple Creek Lane and Baltic Street, 10:25 to 10:35 a.m.
  • Return to reload – 10:50 to 11:15 a.m.
  • Hunter Street and Park – 11:25 to 11:30 a.m.
  • Culloden and Van Buren Avenue – 11:40 to 11:55 a.m.

Route 11 – Bus 489

  • Wilson Pines – mailboxes – 9 to 9:15 a.m.
  • Heritage Acres – 9:30 to 9:45 a.m.
  • Magnolia Lakes – office – 10 to 10:15 a.m.
  • Return to reload – 10:25 to 10:45 a.m.
  • Boston – Garfield Avenue – 11 to 11:15 a.m.
  • Church Street and Mahan – 11:20 to 11:30 a.m.
  • Chestnut and Market – 11:40 to 11:50 a.m.
  • Clay and Market – noon to 12:15 p.m.
  • Jackson and Lee – 12:25 to 12:35 p.m.