How Central Virginia localities plan to feed students during school closure

Posted at 12:57 PM, Mar 13, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-23 08:15:03-04

RICHMOND, Va. -- School districts across Central Virginia are planning to feed students even though they will be closed for at least the next two weeks over COVID-19 concerns.


With Richmond Public School closed for two weeks due to the COVID-19, school officials have set up meal distribution centers, so students still have access to meals.

In a message to families, Superintendent Jason Kamras said the meal distribution centers will be located at more than a dozen schools in the city.

RPS families can go to any center, regardless of their home school.

• Armstrong HS
• Binford MS
• Blackwell ES
• Boushall MS
• Broad Rock ES
• Brown MS
• Chimborazo ES
• Fisher ES
• Francis ES
• Ginter Park ES
• Greene ES
• Henderson MS
• Huguenot HS
• Mason ES
• Miles Jones ES
• Oak Grove – Bellemeade ES
• Reid ES
• Summer Hill PS

Kamras said families can pick up multiple meals so that they don't have to come back every day.

The centers will be open 9:30 am – 12:30 pm, Monday through Friday.

“We recognize that some families may have difficulty getting to these centers,” Kamras wrote. “As a result, we are working on a limited neighborhood distribution strategy, but need a bit more time to work through the details.”

Kamras also answered several other questions regarding the school closure in the letter to families.

Chesterfield County

Chesterfield Schools now has 51 sites where students can pick up free breakfasts and lunches while schools are closed in an attempt to slow the spread of coronavirus.

"Meals will be provided for pick-up on a first come, first serve basis at the sites and times listed below," district officials said. "One lunch and the next morning’s breakfast meal will be provided to each child. Children must be present for pickup of meals." Click here for the complete list.

Hanover County

Officials with Hanover County Public School announced Saturday the district will serve pre-packaged lunch kits to all children 18 or younger starting Monday, March 16.

Officials noted lunches will be served Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m. at John M. Gandy Elementary School (201 Archie Cannon Drive in Ashland) and Mechanicsville Elementary School (7425 Mechanicsville Elementary Drive in Mechanicsville) on a first-come, first-served basis while supplies last.

"Children must be present to receive a meal," ofdistrict officials said in a statement. "The meals provided will be the same for all children regardless of race, color, national origin, sex, age or disability, and there will be no discrimination in the course of the meal service."

If you would like more information, call HCPS Food Services at 804-365-4566.

Henrico County

Henrico students who depend on school meals can start picking them up on March 17 .

There will be six sites in Henrico County where students can get "grab and go" packaged meals from 11 a.m. to noon.

"Packaged lunches and breakfasts will be available each school day on a first-come, first-served basis," a Henrico Schools spokesperson announced. "Food distribution is open to all students, regardless of what school they attend, as well as others under age 18."

Anyone under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult.

Five schools and the Henrico Volunteer Fire Squad 31 in Sandston will be used to prepare, package, and distribute food:

  • Fairfield Middle School, 5121 Nine Mile Road, Henrico, Va. 23223
  • Glen Lea Elementary School, 3909 Austin Ave., Henrico, Va. 23222
  • Hermitage High School, 8301 Hungary Spring Road, Henrico, Va. 23228
  • Highland Springs Elementary School, 600 Pleasant Street, Highland Springs, Va. 23075
  • Quioccasin Middle School, 9400 Quioccasin Road, Henrico, Va. 23238
  • Henrico Volunteer Rescue Squad 31, 5301 Huntsman Road, Sandston, Va. 23150

Henrico Schools will asses the status of the food distribution program if the schools closure period is extended past March 30. Pick up hours and locations may increase based on demand.

Volunteers Needed

Feed More food bank on Rhoadmiller Street are in need of volunteers in light of the coronavirus outbreak.

"We have a great deal of corporate volunteers and they too, out of an abundance of caution, are working from home and ceasing their volunteer activities," Feed More CEO Doug Pick said. "We are keeping groups to under 20 so they don’t have to worry about getting in a large group to volunteer."

On Friday, some staff members stepped into volunteer rolls. Christy Dalton, a community events manager at Feed Moore, helped bag juice boxes for Meals on Wheels.

"It’s definitely unnerving, but we are practicing the best protocols to make sure we are allowing people to social distance while they’re volunteering," Dalton stated. "Everybody is worried about a lot of stuff. We don’t want these people to worry about where they’re getting their food from."

Pick said students and families who take home food from their weekend and after school programs should seek out their

"It will happen a lot like in the summer when schools close," Pick explained. "So, we have summer feeding sites and people utilize our agencies and pantries more."

Feed More advised families to inquire about services on their website.