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Grab-and-go

WCSD, TCCS organize food pick-up spots

Times Observer photo by Brian Ferry Katrina Vermilyea, one of many Warren County School District employees making sure students have access to meals while school is shut down, hands meals to a family at the district grab-and-go pick-up station at First Lutheran Church in Warren. The district is giving out hundreds of meals to help provide for the nutrition needs of students during the statewide school shut-down due to COVID-19.

With schools shut down, there are thousands of Warren County students not receiving meals from their usual sources.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture gave a waiver to the Pennsylvania Department of Education allowing schools to distribute meals to students during the closure.

Warren County School District and Tidioute Community Charter School have established grab-and-go locations throughout the county.

On Tuesday, TCCS made 72 distributions and officials there are expecting that number to rise to 100 on Thursday.

The district gave food to 381 students and other children on Tuesday, and 533 (1,066 total meals) on Wednesday.

Each distribution includes at least two meals. Tidioute’s, which is having fewer days of grab-and-go, is providing more meals per stop.

The distributions are not only open to students at those schools.

“Our objective is to feed all kids that want a meal,” District Director of Business Services Jim Grosch said. “We will feed every kid that’s 18 or under. We’re not discriminating.”

The district’s grab-and-go stations are open from 11:30 to 1 p.m. Monday through Friday. Meal distributions will continue next week. All district children 18 and under are eligible.

The locations are:

¯ Sheffield Middle/High School;

¯ Warren Area Elementary Center;

¯ Youngsville Middle/High School;

¯ Allegheny Village;

¯ Clarendon Methodist Church;

¯ First Lutheran Church;

¯ Holly Apartments;

¯ Mason’s Mobile Home Park;

¯ Sugar Grove Volunteer Fire Department; and

¯ Wilderness Trailer Park.

Tidioute Community Charter School is also a distribution site. Pick-up times are 10 to 11:30 a.m. Thursday, March 19, Monday, March 23, and Wednesday, March 25, at the school bus loading area.

The Thursday and Monday TCCS distributions will include two breakfasts and two lunches each. The Wednesday distribution will include three of each meal.

More sites

The district will add distribution locations starting Thursday. “We’re designating two more — Youngsville mobile and Warren mobile,” Grosch said.

There will be meals available at:

¯ Grand Valley Post Office from 11:30 to 11:50 a.m.;

¯ Garland Trailer Park from noon to 12:20 p.m.;

¯ Pleasant Valley Trailer Park from 12:30 to 12:50 p.m.;

¯ North Warren park across from North Warren Presbyterian Church from 11:30 to 11:50 a.m.; and

¯ Larimer Park from noon to 12:30 p.m.

“We’re trying to reach out to as many areas and as many kids as we can,” Grosch said. “We’re such a rural area that it’s extremely challenging for us.”

Those picking up at any location are asked to remain in their vehicles. The children who are to receive the food must be in the vehicle in order for personnel to give out meals.

The stop is quick. The driver pulls up to the distribution area, a worker checks to see how many children are in the vehicle, collects the proper number of meals, and hands them over with instructions on how to keep them if they are not going to be eaten right away.

The district’s meals are being produced as usual by the district’s food service provider — the Nutrition Group.

“They’re in charge of the cafeteria staff, the meal preparation, making sure we have food to get out,” Grosch said.

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