Schools and restaurants step up to make sure students don't go hungry

Posted at 7:14 PM, Mar 16, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-16 19:20:00-04

COLONIAL HEIGHTS, Va. -- Last week, schools all over the Commonwealth of Virginia were shut down for at least two weeks amid the spread of the coronavirus.

That means some students may struggle to eat while school is out of session.

In Colonial Heights Monday, greetings could be heard in the parking lot at North Elementary School. The School System handed out food to children who would go without.

"I just decided that we would come up with a plan just to stay ahead of the game," said school Superintendent Dr. Bill Sroufe.

The game plan, have food ready for pick up if schools were closed.

"Any student can come and you don't have to be free or reduced lunch to get the meal here," said Dr. Sroufe.

And it's not just school systems wanting to make sure young children don't go hungry.

A Dinwiddie County restaurant is trying to make things easier for students and parents, regardless of how it financially impacts its business.

"Absolutely no kid is going to go hungry until school re-opens" said Adriana Amato, owner of Giuseppe's Italian Restaurant.

"It breaks my heart," said Amato when she learned some school-aged children could go hungry because school is closed.

So, she made a call to the School Board.

"I told her to include us in what ever plans they made, what ever it is to help the children," explained Amato.

"I talked to my husband and I said, Vinny, we have to do something to help this community."

In Petersburg, a different restaurant but a similar discussion.

"My wife and everybody in our Community was kind of worried," said Konran chef and owner Wilton Bogan. "This seemed something that we could do, something we could actually give back, that hopefully it will help."

So, if a hungry child walks in the door they'll give them a meal for lunch and dinner.

"Just spend time with us and hang out," said Bogan.

On Tuesday, both Petersburg and Dinwiddie County Schools will begin offering food to students who may not have access to it.