“As Hillsborough County Public Schools (HCPS) continues to navigate CDC recommendations for social distancing and the state’s stay-at-home order, our district is committed to keeping our students, families and our staff safe,” said Tanya Arja, HCPS media spokesperson.
On Wednesday, April 15, the district will change its Grab-and-Go meal distribution practices to minimize contact between families and staff.
Families will be able to pick up a week’s worth of food once a week instead of traveling to a site every day. Families can pick up the meals every Wednesday between 9 a.m.-1 p.m. The district will continue to offer the Grab-and-Go meals at 147 school sites. For locations, visit www.HillsboroughSchools.org.
These meals will include one pound of lunch meat, one loaf of bread, milk, juice and nutritious snacks for the week. The Grab-and-Go sites have had a tremendous impact on our community, providing more than 1 million meals so far for students during this extended closure.
“Our district’s goal is to ensure every learner has access to nutritious meals, even when they are not physically at school,” said Arja.
“This decision demonstrates care from our organization. By reducing the number of contact points within our community, we will eliminate immediate concerns and continue to develop strategies that protect our students, employees and parents. I am excited that we will be extending nutritious meals to our students in a manner that promotes and fosters safety. Our once-a-week stop will give students a weekly supply of food that will assist them with remaining sharp during the e-Learning process. Our district’s effort will continue to evolve as we seek to identify proactive solutions to assist our community,” stated Hillsborough County Public Schools Superintendent Addison Davis.
This new plan will protect teams in Student Nutrition Services and transportation by drastically minimizing their contact with the public. Staff in Student Nutrition will rotate their schedule during the week to prepare meals while adhering to social distancing guidelines. Bus drivers will also continue to extend meals within specific areas of our community every Wednesday.
“Our district continues to adjust our way of work to better support our community during this unprecedented national emergency. It warms my heart to hear the stories of children excited to see a familiar face at our Grab-and-Go pickup sites. I am grateful for the care and support our staff continues to provide our students,” said School Board Chair Melissa Snively.
It is important to note that each student will receive a bag with cold food that must be refrigerated, along with another bag of snacks. The bags will weigh more than 10 pounds collectively, so parents and students who are walking up to receive meals should plan accordingly. We suggest using your child’s empty backpack to store food on the way back home.
The district will still provide daily food distribution on Monday, April 13 and Tuesday, April 14 to ensure students have meals prior to the schedule change.
Meals are available to ALL children 18 years old and younger as well as students with special needs under the age of 21. For additional information, along with a list of frequently asked questions about the program, please visit HillsboroughSchools.org/coronavirus/grabandgo.