Gadsden County School District once again providing free meals after suspending food program

Published: Apr. 20, 2020 at 5:24 PM EDT
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By: Elizabeth Millner | WCTV Eyewitness News

April 20, 2020

GADSDEN COUNTY, Fla. (WCTV) -- The Gadsden County School District is providing free meals for students again.

They briefly suspended the program last week,

About 3,600 pre-packaged meals were brought in Monday and were distributed at 29 sites across the district.

At St. Thomas Catholic Church in Quincy, cars lined up to make sure students are fed.

Across town at Park View apartments, the school district delivered meals for children.

“It is important because some people don’t get it in the morning and cook breakfast so you can get up out of your bed and come up and get a box,” said Gadsden County student, Kelshawn Elickens.

The schools are working with Second Harvest of the Big Bend, North Florida Education Development Corporation and Family Worship and Praise Center on the program.

The meals were packed and counted for handout at the Campbell Kelly Center.

Officials say without these distributions, many students miss out on healthy options.

“Quincy, as well as Gretna, is a food desert and it’s not the fact that they don’t have food it’s the fact that they don’t have healthy foods. They do not have access to healthy foods,” said executive director of NFEDC, Carolyn Ford.

Parents, many out of work said it’s been hard to put food on the table.

“In this situation, people are not having enough money and they are not working so it is important to the kids to get fed everyday,” said Nilda Tejada

District administrators say now that it’s back up and running, they plan to continue providing these healthy foods though the end of the school year which is a blessing to many in the community.

“I prayed about the situation and put it in God’s hands and they getting fed today,” said Quincy resident Contina Collins.

Gadsden County Schools Superintendent Roger Milton says the meals will be distributed three days a week to limit contact and maintain social distancing.