Aiken County Schools Partner with Golden Harvest, United Way of Aiken to Provide Meals for Students in Need Over Spring Break
AIKEN (04/04/2020) – Aiken County Public School District, with support from Golden Harvest Food Bank, distributed
74,510 meals to students on Friday, April 3, to help ensure students’ nutritional needs were met over Spring Break.
As ordered by the Governor, Aiken County, along with all schools in South Carolina, closed on Monday, March 16, to help control the spread of COVID-19 and protect the health of students, staff and the community. In Aiken County, the needs of students nutritionally were met almost immediately, beginning Tuesday, March 17, with Grab-and-Go meals available at every school and its fleet of buses distributing meals to students along its regular bus route. As of April 2, Aiken County Public Schools and its essential staff necessary to accomplish that mission had provided 272,992 meals to students during this mandated school closure.
Planning for the week of Spring Break, April 6-10, would prove especially challenging for the school district with employees scheduled to be off and food supplies being limited.
“Food insecurity is a critical need in our community. After our schools closed due to COVID-19 safeguards, our Aiken County Public School District continued to deliver nutritious meals to our students. When we heard that spring break needed additional coverage, we reached out to our partner agency, Golden Harvest Food Bank, which immediately made over 9000 supplemental meal packs available,” stated Sharon Rodgers, President of the United Way of Aiken County. “This is just one example of how our community always works together to respond to needs. We Live United … because United We Win.”
“We are incredibly grateful to The United Way of Aiken County and Golden Harvest Food Bank for stepping in to help,” District Superintendent King Laurence commented. “Golden Harvest’s meal bags, 9,660 of them, were transported to eight centralized food distribution schools. Adding to that with what we were able to get from suppliers, we assembled enough food to meet the needs of our students throughout the scheduled Spring Break recess.”
On Friday, April 3, the meal packs were available for pickup at Aiken High School, Kennedy Middle School, North Augusta High School, Midland Valley High School, Graniteville Elementary School, A.L. Corbett Middle School, Ridge Spring-Monetta High School, and Silver Bluff High School. More than 7400 students will have food over the extended break because of Friday’s effort.
“As the spread of COIVD-19 impacts our community, Golden Harvest is working to ensure our most vulnerable neighbors have enough to eat,” said Golden Harvest Executive Director Amy Breitmann. “Children are certainly among our most vulnerable community members, and we are so thankful for this collaboration that allowed us to reach them during this critical meal gap. It’s partnerships like these that will get us through this challenging season.”
“With the meals we just distributed to students today, our total in meals provided is now 347,502,” Superintendent Laurence stated. “This team, our ONE TEAM includes the entire community, and we are committed to meeting the needs of our Aiken County’s children. I hope everyone has a wonderful Spring Break and that our dedicated employees enjoy some much-deserved rest.”
LINK TO DISTRICT PRESS RELEASE: PR 2020 GH UWA SPRING BREAK PARTNERSHIP