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West Clayton Elementary serving nearly 275 families weekly since start of pandemic

Royal Food Service provides fresh produce for part of Clayton County Public Schools weekly food pantries

COLLEGE PARK, Ga. — For the past four months, Clayton County Public Schools have been hosting five weekly food pantries at various locations around the county.

West Clayton Elementary, located in College Park has served in the neighborhood of 275 families every week since the pandemic shut down schools in mid-March.

West Clayton Elementary is one of five weekly food pantries hosted throughout the county from 9 a.m. to noon. Through those five pantries, the initiative has served on average 1,300 to 1,400 families weekly.

Credit: Farmers to Familes Food Box graphic

Clayton County Public Schools has been able to maintain this initiative in no small part due to community partners, district staff and volunteers.

“Actually, it's an honor to be able to serve the community in which I serve. This is actually my school,” says Kennesha Smith, a social worker employed at West Clayton Elementary.

One local produce distributor, Royal Food Service who has been serving Atlanta and the surrounding areas since 1994, has partnered with the USDA to nourish communities all over Georgia through the Farmers to Families Program.

This relief effort program helps farmers impacted by COVID-19 while also feeding families in need. Food that was grown pre-pandemic is rerouted to families in need relieving farmers of their crops while nourishing families that have been impacted by COVID-19.

Credit: Jeannine Henderson, Kennesha Smith and Kim Coleman at the weekly West Clayton Elementary food pantry

Family-sized boxes weighing approximately twenty pounds are packed with healthy, delicious produce and transported to food banks, community and faith-based organizations, and other non-profits serving Americans in need.

Over the next eight weeks, Royal will deliver family-sized boxes packed with fresh, healthy, delicious produce to food banks, community and faith-based organizations, and other non-profits serving Americans in need.

To learn more about Clayton County Public Schools' food pantries, visit the district website for additional locations and information.

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