PENDER COUNTY, N.C. (WECT) - Pender County Schools is expanding its meal distribution program for kids who are out of school as the country works to curb the spread of the coronavirus.
Bus drivers began driving routes Tuesday to staff 56 stops at schools, churches, fire stations and other sites throughout the county.
Each stop is staffed for approximately two hours before the bus moves on.
With assembly-line precision, a small staff of cafeteria workers and teachers assistants pack meals and load them onto busses each morning.
Burgaw Elementary is one of six school cafeterias operating to provide meals to more than half of all Pender County Students.
Friday morning, staff at Burgaw Elementary prepared nearly 3,500 meals to make sure students stay fed over the weekend.
Each day parents or students can pick up lunch and breakfast for the next morning. On Friday students are supplied with three breakfast meals and three lunches to last the weekend.
Parents do not need to have their children with them or provide any documentation to pick up meals.
“I’m worried about these kids eating. I really am because, like I said, I know there are so many kids we feed that I know this is the only food they get,” said Denise Hines, cafeteria manager at Burgaw Elementary.
Meals include sides of vegetables and fruits as well as milk, juice, and water. Hot lunches are served on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday.
There are roughly 10,000 students in Pender County and over half utilized the free meal service this week.
Here’s a breakdown of the schedule: