GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. — Gwinnett County is stepping up to make sure area children are fed, as Gwinnett County Public Schools wrap up the meal service it has provided for the last two months.
The county's school district began serving and delivering lunches to students after they were required to stay at home due to the coronavirus. According to the county, the initiative has provided more than 2.2 million meals using 67 school pickup locations.
Gwinnett County announced that they will launch their summer meal program early to replace the school district’s program which ends on May 15. The county's meal program is now in its second year of existence. County leaders involved with the meal program say this year's initiative will look a little different.
"We are essentially tripling our efforts from what we did last year. We had about six pickup locations, and this year we're going to have 18. We're also moving up the start date to make sure there isn't a gap between the district's program and ours," says Tina Fleming, Director of Community Services for Gwinnett County.
Fleming says they will have free grab-and-go breakfasts and lunches starting Monday, May 18. Parents can pick up nutritious meals for their children at 18 park locations Monday through Friday. The meals, which consist of things like sandwiches and wraps, meet USDA guidelines.
“It is the common goal of the Board of the Commissioners and the Board of Education to assist families and make sure children receive nutritious meals during this challenging time,” said Gwinnett County Board of Commissioners Chairman Charlotte Nash. “For some kids, this may be the only meal they get that day. The Board of Commissioners especially wants to recognize the school board’s efforts to feed children during the digital learning days just ending and the work they will do when their meals program picks up again in June.”
County staff says the pickup locations were selected based on school clusters with 50 percent free-and-reduced-lunch student populations.
The County program, part of the Summer Food Service Program offered through the U.S. Department of Agriculture, is being sponsored by the nonprofit Georgia Nutritional Services Inc., which will provide the vendor for the meals.
In its first year, Summer Meals served about 10,200 lunches at three parks, which was supplemented by a similar county program that served another 6,500 meals to kids at four other County locations. Children ate lunches and snacks on-site but because of social distancing requirements, the USDA is allowing people to take the meals home this year.
Funding for the program comes from the USDA.
Registration is not required. Meals can be picked up between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. while supplies last at:
Pinckneyville Park, 4650 Peachtree Industrial Boulevard, Berkeley Lake
Shorty Howell Park, 2750 Pleasant Hill Road, Duluth
Club Drive Park, 3330 Club Drive, Lawrenceville
Freeman’s Mill Park, 1401 Alcovy Road, Lawrenceville
Lawrenceville Female Seminary, 455 South Perry Street, Lawrenceville
Rhodes Jordan Park, 100 East Crogan Street, Lawrenceville
Sweet Water Park, 800 Bethesda School Road, Lawrenceville
Bryson Park, 5075 Lawrenceville Highway, Lilburn
Lilburn Activity Building, 788 Hillcrest Road, Lilburn
Vines Park, 3500 Oak Grove Road, Loganville
Best Friend Park, 6224 Jimmy Carter Boulevard, Norcross
Cemetery Field, 211 Cemetery Street, Norcross
Graves Park, 1540 Graves Road, Norcross
Lucky Shoals Park, 4651 Britt Road, Norcross
Lenora Park, 4515 Lenora Church Road, Snellville
OneStop Centerville, 3025 Bethany Church Road, Snellville
DeShong Park, 2859 North DeShong Road, Stone Mountain
Yellow River Park, 3232 Juhan Road, Stone Mountain
Gwinnett County Public Schools will also still be offering their annual 'Seamless Summer' meal program which is put on annually, but only is available for three weeks in June. School locations for that program (June 8 - 26) have not yet been set.
Want more Gwinnett County news? Like us on Facebook.