Free meals available for students across Big Bend, South Georgia

Published: Mar. 15, 2020 at 12:18 AM EDT
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By: WCTV Eyewitness News

March 14, 2020

(WCTV) -- With schools in our region closing for an extended period due to COVID-19 coronavirus, WCTV is finding out which school districts have made arrangements to feed their students during the break.

Several school districts in the region say these decisions could be extended if closures continue into April.

If you know of more locations giving out meals, send us a note at

Florida meal locations

In Leon County, superintendent Rocky Hanna announced that hundreds have reached out asking how they can assist with feeding students.

In a video posted to the district's Facebook page, Hanna said that Second Harvest is stepping in to help. According to the Facebook page, this partnership helps "provide nutritious food for up to 10,000 food insecure Leon County school children during the COVID-19 pandemic school closures, scheduled to take place March 23-27."

LCS announced via Twitter Saturday morning 14 new food pick up locations for students aged 18 and under. Those locations can be found below, and will be open March 23-27 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.



—Ft. Braden


—WT Moore





—Sabal Palm





Leon County Schools, Second Harvest and United Way of the Big Bend Partner Agencies Partner to Feed Leon County Children During COVID-19 School Closures Tallahassee, FL –Leon County Schools (LCS) is partnering with Second Harvest of the Big Bend food bank and the United Way of the Big Bend to help provide nutritious food for up to 10,000 food insecure Leon County school children during the COVID-19 pandemic school closures, scheduled to take place March 23-27. “LCS leadership is working now to develop a plan to help distribute nutritious food boxes to our students in need,” said Leon County Schools Superintendent Rocky Hanna. “Second Harvest food bank will provide the food. More information will be released to the community as final details are confirmed with all partners,” he added. “Second Harvest is proud to help feed hungry children in our service area year-round, said Monique Ellsworth, CEO of Second Harvest. “Every day, we stand ready to support the community during crisis events. During this challenging time, Second Harvest’s team is working closely with our partners to ensure all necessary resources are on hand to provide the healthy, nutritious food kids and families will need.” Individuals and groups interested in learning more about how they can help, including volunteering to pack food boxes, may visit the Second Harvest website at “What we do now, in this moment when we can embrace the truest meaning of community, can serve as a foundation for how we work together in the future. Our United Way of the Big Bend remains focused on meeting the needs of our most vulnerable neighbors. With schools closing, many of our children will have great need. Safe and healthy food is a priority. Our United Way of the Big Bend is proud to Join Second Harvest of the Big Bend, Leon County Schools and all our United Way partners throughout our Big Bend area in working closely during this challenging time”, said Berneice Cox, President and CEO of the United Way of the Big Bend.

Posted by Leon County Schools on Saturday, March 14, 2020

In Liberty County, Hosford Elementary and Junior High School will provide a free lunch this week Monday through Friday, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. You can call 850-379-8480 ext. 41413 for details. Tolar K-8 School is also providing lunches during that time frame. Call 850-643-2426 ext. 11177 for details.

Taylor County Schools is providing lunches from March 24 to March 26 between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. at its elementary school. Call 850-223-4401 for more information.

You can search for nearby locations providing free meals for Florida students by


The following locations are providing meals for children 18 and under from March 17 to March 20 in Hamilton County:

—Old Central Hamilton Elementary, 9 a.m. to noon —White Springs Public Library, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. —Jasper Public Library, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. —Jennings Public Library, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. —JRE Lee (First Central Baptist Cultural), 9 a.m. to noon —Belleville Volunteer Fire Station, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. —Achiever's Christian Academy, 10 a.m. to noon

You can call the food service department at 850-792-7805 or 850-792-7804 for more details.

Calhoun County School District will serve meals Wednesday, March 18- Friday, March 20 at the following locations:

—St. Mary's Missionary Baptist Church, 10:30 a.m to 11 a.m. —Mossy Pond Library 10:30 to 11 a.m. —Kinard Library 11:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. —Shelton Library 11:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. —Hugh Creek Library 11:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. —Ochessee Park 11:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. —Carr School 11:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. —Altha School 11:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. —Blountstown High School 11:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. —Blountstown Elementary School 11:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. —Scott's Ferry Fire Department 12 p.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Franklin County Schools will serve meals beginning on March 24. Meals will be pick-up only, from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the following locations:

—Apalachicola Bay Charter —Apalachicola City Project Impact —Learning Center —Franklin County Schools —Eastpoint UMC Youth and Children Center —Carrabelle Lanark Market

Lafayette County Schools will provide meals at the elementary school from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. through Friday, March 20.

Madison County schools will begin serving grab-and-go lunches March 23- March 27. The meals will be available to all students from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the following locations:

—Greenville Elementary —Lee Elementary —Pinetta Elementary —Church of God —Pineland Baptist Church —St. James Baptist Church

Officials with the Suwannee County School District say they expect to reach out to churches in the area when students are back from spring break on March 30, pending any extended closures.

The Wakulla School District says it will begin food distribution on March 23. Wakulla officials say delivery will start around 9:30 a.m. and end at 11 a.m. Buses will deliver food to bus stops, and parents may also pick it up curbside at Wakulla High School's student drop off during that same time period. On Mondays and Wednesdays, students will receive two breakfasts and two lunches. On Fridays, they will get one breakfast and one lunch. Students must be present at the bus stop or curbside pickup in order to get the meals.

Jefferson County School District are also now on break. School officials say due to federal regulations, schools are not allowed to serve students during break.

The Jackson County School District said that after two conference calls with the Florida Department of Agriculture, they have submitted an application and letter of intent with plans to feed as many kids as possible. They are currently waiting on approval.


Posted by Jackson County School District on Saturday, March 14, 2020

South Georgia meal locations

Thomasville City Schools has food delivery stops Monday through Friday at the following locations:

— Eastside Church (11 to 11:20 a.m.) —St. Luke Church (11:30 to 11:50 a.m.) —Douglass Gym (12 to 12:20 p.m.) —Abbey Lake Apartments (11 to 11:20 a.m.) —Varnedoe Area (National Guard, 12:10 to 12:30 p.m.) —Cherokee Homes (11 to 11:45 a.m., on site) —Wood Valley Apartments (11 to 11:45 a.m., on site) —Villa North Apartments (11 a.m. to 12 p.m., on site) —Faircloth Homes (11 a.m. to 12 p.m., on site) —Flipper Homes (11:30 a.m. to noon, on site) —Normal Park Apartments (11:30 a.m. to noon, on site)

Additionally, Scott and Harper elementary schools will have curbside pickup from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

The Grady County School District said that they will be providing breakfast and lunch at 20 locations for free to any student in the school system. Adults can purchase the two meals for $5.

These are the locations:

—Cairo High School —Eastside Elementary School —Northside Elementary School —Shiver School —Washington Middle School —Gordon Heights Baptist Church —Belcher Circle Mobile Home Park —Southern Terrace Park —Midway Baptist Church —Karema Estates —Johnson Meat Market —Tired Creek Boulevard —First Assembly of God —T & J Country Store —Live Oak/ Ridge Road —Calvary Post Office —Mobile Home Park past Knight Forestry —Boys and Girls Club —Mobile Home Park past Monrovia —Reno Fire Department

In Lowndes County, their school district said that three churches have volunteered to provide free food for students. Redland Baptist Church is allowing community members to come pick up phone on Tuesday, March 17 from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. and Thursday, March 19 from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m.

Crossroads Baptist Church say that you can pick up a bag of food Wednesday, March 18 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. or until the food is gone, in the Hahira Elementary School parking lot. Finally, Abundant Life Church of God will be distributing food bags to families on Tuesday, March 17, from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Recognizing many students eat two meals a day at school, Lowndes County Schools will be sharing information from...

Posted by Lowndes County Schools on Friday, March 13, 2020

We are grateful for another community member providing food to students and their families during the school...

Posted by Lowndes County Schools on Saturday, March 14, 2020

Valdosta City Schools and Second Harvest of South Georgia will be offering free meals at five stationary distribution sites, operating Monday through Friday, until further notice. The locations include:

—S.L Mason Elementary School at 11:30am —Ora Lee West Community Center at 11:30am —Woodlawn Forrest Church of Christ at 12:00pm —Robert Jenkins Community Centrr at Hudson Dockett at 11:30am —Scott Park at 12:00pm.

Additionally, the district is teaming up with Meals on Wheels for 14 meal hubs, open Monday through Thursday. Buses will arrive at 11:00am, and will distribute meals while supplies last. Those locations include:

—Heron Lake Apartments —Willis L. Miller Library —Sallas Mahone Elementary School —Remington Avenue and Arkwright Drive —W.G. Nunn Elementary School —Bubba Jax Crab Shack —Ashton Park Apartments —Smith Ave at Pines Apartments —Abundant Life Church parking lot —J.L. Lomax Elementary School —Serenity Church —Azalea Landing —The Gables Apartments at mailboxes —Adam's Orthodontics —J.L. Lomax Elementary School

The Miller County School District will be closed through April 13. District officials say breakfast and lunch will be provided beginning Thursday, March 19. The location has not yet been announced.

Brooks County Schools will remain closed until April 6. District officials say they are working with Second Harvest of South Georgia and other community organizations to ensure students will be fed during these extra days of closure.

On Tuesday, The Thomas County School System started to distribute meals at Thomas County Middle School. For the week of March 23 to March 27, the district is distributing meals on Monday only, from 8 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. A snack and a meal provided by Second Harvest will be available on Wednesday at the middle school, starting at 8 a.m. and ending when supplies are gone.

Each student will be allowed one bag, which contains five breakfast meals and five lunch meals. For those unable to make it to the middle school, the following locations will also be open from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. each day food is passed out:

—Thomasville Library —Boston Library —Coolidge Library —Meigs Library —Pavo Library —Ochlocknee Library —Villa North Apartments —Wood Valley Apartments —Best for Guests —Hunters Chase Apartments —Ashley Park Apartments —Circle C Mobile Home Park —Twin Oaks Mobile Home Park —Barwick Recreation Field —Metcalf Public Park —Thomas County Fire Station (off Hwy 19S and New Hope Rd.) —Rose City Estates

We reached out to the Decatur County School District and Seminole County School District but did not hear back.

WCTV will continue to update this list as more school districts announce plans.

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