AIKEN COUNTY, S.C. (WJBF) – Aiken County Public School District, United Way and the Golden Harvest Food Bank worked together on Friday April 3rd to distribute tens of thousands of meals to students to help make sure their nutritional needs were met over spring break.
Aiken County, along with all schools in South Carolina, were closed on March 16, 2020 to help slow the spread of COVID-19 and to help protect students, staff and members of the community.
In Aiken County, students nutritional needs were met almost immediately. March 17th, Grab-and-Go meals were made available at every school and its fleet of buses distributed meals to students along its regular bus route.
Planning for the week of Spring Break, April 6-10, would be challenging for the school district since employees are scheduled to be off and food supplies are limited.
Sharon Rodgers, President of the United Way of Aiken County said,
“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. This is just one example of how our community always works together to respond to needs. We Live United … because United We Win.”
District Superintendent King Laurence commented,
“We are incredibly grateful to The United Way of Aiken County and Golden Harvest Food Bank for stepping in to help. 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 April 3rd, 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.
Golden Harvest Executive Director Amy Breitmann said,
“As the spread of COIVD-19 impacts our community, Golden Harvest is working to ensure our most vulnerable neighbors have enough to eat. 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.”