COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Columbus City Schools and Children’s Hunger Alliance are partnering to provide extra take-home meals for students through the end of the academic school year and maybe longer.

These extra take-home meals are being distributed at the District’s 15 Grab-and-Go Food Sites – where students and parents are already picking up free breakfasts and lunches each day for any children under the age of 18.

Columbus City Schools Superintendent Dr. Talisa Dixon said over the course of a week, they are providing as many as 40,000 healthy meals to young people across the city who might otherwise not have access to nutritional foods each day.

This partnership allows families to receive a breakfast, lunch and now a dinner through the Columbus City Schools grab and go meals, giving families who may be struggling during this pandemic one less thing to worry about.

“They’re helping me out a great deal and we appreciate every food item for breakfast and lunch,” said Loletta Fryar.

Fryar said while her daughter works, she watches her grandchildren and said these free meals are a huge help because she was not prepared to feed kids five days a week for more than a month.

She has only picked up food from the grab and go food site twice, but on this day, she and other parents have more in their bags.

“I’m very happy,” said Fryar. “I can’t get to the grocery store a lot because I don’t have a vehicle, but it helps out for me and my food cost.”

Jessica Wilson has six kids and says these meals give her comfort throughout the weekdays.

“That takes a load off because like I said, I’m a mom working,” said Wilson. “I’m a worker at McDonald’s and so it means a lot for me to be able to get off work, come here, get breakfast and get lunch and know that the kids are getting fed.”

From Columbus City Schools 15 grab and go food sites, they hand out between 6,000 – 8,000 free meals each weekday, but the need is still growing.

It’s why they’ve partnered with the Children’s Hunger Alliance to make sure no child is going hungry through this pandemic and that families aren’t stressing about their food.

“Well, it’s absolutely fantastic and I tell you what know that a family comes here and when a child comes here they get breakfast, lunch, and a dinner,” said Jared Buerger with the Children’s Hunger Alliance. “Food, that’s just one less thing that our families have to worry about. Our hearts are absolutely warmed when we know that we’re able to be a part in conjunction with our partners at Columbus City Schools and alleviating that worry for a family.” 

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