Rowan Salisbury Schools provides Summer Meals for students!
Summer break should bring a sense of relaxation with no worries for our students. Unfortunately, that is not the case and some of our students worry about where their next meal will come from. In order to ensure that our students are not hungry, the USDA Summer Feeding Program delivers meals at different locations all throughout Rowan County.
During the academic year, school-age children normally have the chance to receive two meals per day while at school and possibly an After-School snack/supper, depending on their involvement in after school activities. Since there is a good amount of time between the end of the school year and the beginning of a new school year the USDA’s Summer Food Service Program bridges that gap and provides summer nutrition to children. This service has been provided by the USDA since 1968 and Rowan Salisbury Schools has operated this program for more than twenty years.
According to Meredith Honeycutt, Financial Specialist and Administrative Assistant for RSS School Nutrition, from 2015 to 2016, RSS expanded their operation, got innovative and figured out how to reach more children in the community. Then the mobile meals initiative began. “We figured out that we needed to get meals to children that could not come to us. We were able to serve over 47,000 more meals in 2016 just by those efforts.”
This program is so powerful because it not only meets the needs of our community, it also helps to build connections and let families know that RSS cares. Rowan Salisbury School leaders and administrators have followed our vehicles, see where our students come from to connect to them and understand their lifestyles away from the classrooms. It has formed layers of empathy, understanding and compassion. All around, the impacts are great. Children have been served nutritious meals, books have been donated and given out to children to enhance literacy, produce has been distributed by volunteers to families, etc.
Meredith indicates that she is mostly impressed with our RSS School nutrition employees because of their level of commitment and the compassion they have for our families. This program is operated by RSS School Nutrition employees. “These folks volunteer their summer break to work. They prepare the meals, pack the meals and serve them in the heat of the summer. They like to be in areas of the county of the schools they normally work in to see the children they feed all year while they are in school. That says a lot to me about the investment these folks have in these children and how much they are about their overall well-being. Our staff have huge hearts and are such hard workers”, says Meredith.
The summer plans are to operate as “normal” as possible by serving meals to children enlisted in programs at various sites around Rowan County and by serving meals in our heavily populated rural areas via our mobile meal “Yum Yum Buses”. Summer 2020 was drastically different. We did not serve programs around the county or visit our rural areas with the “Yum Yum Buses”. Our meals were served directly to children to their homes by following yellow school bus routes provided by each school during the heart of the pandemic. We will not operate in that fashion in 2021.
RSS students will have number of sites to choose from. There are 37 open sites and about 60 closed sites. The open sites are open to the public. The closed sites are community partners who will feed their students through this program. Click and review the links below for the Summer Meals Menu and the Open Sites.