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Lenoir County Schools Providing Meals To Food Insecure Students Through Spring Break

Lenoir County Public Schools
A young student receives a hot lunch and next-day breakfast at one of the 20 delivery points LCPS buses travel to each weekday.

In one of the poorest counties in Eastern North Carolina, a program providing no-cost meals to students during the COVID-19 pandemic will continue uninterrupted during spring break. 

“We know that many of our students will not get the hot meal and breakfast item right now if it were not for Lenoir County Public Schools,” said Nicholas Harvey, assistant superintendent with Lenoir County Public Schools.

Lenoir County is a Tier 1 county, and many of the students in the district depend on free and reduced school lunches. Since schools were ordered to close through at least May 15th, school systems across the state, including Lenoir County have implemented feeding programs to help the most food insecure students.

More than 60 Child Nutrition staff, bus drivers, and other personnel with Lenoir County Public Schools will spend spring break serving hot lunches and next-day breakfasts.  The meals are handed out at grab-and-go sites at Kinston, North Lenoir, and South Lenoir high schools as well as Southeast Elementary and E.B. Frink Middle. School bus drivers will deliver meals to children who live in rural parts of the county.

“We’re doing curbside pickup so you really don’t even have to leave your car.  We’ll bring it right to your window. If you walk up, we’re practicing social distancing, of course, our personnel are maintaining six feet distance… and of course, we’re washing our hands.”

Harvey said the program has almost reached its goal of feeding 5,000 children each day.  About 60,000 meals have been provided to Lenoir County students since the program began in mid-March.

“With industries shutting down and local industries having to shut down due to coronavirus, our community is in distress,” Harvey said.  “We feel that it is appropriate for us to offer these services to the community.”

Jared Brumbaugh is the Assistant General Manager for Public Radio East. An Eastern North Carolina native, Jared began his professional public radio career at Public Radio East while he was a student at Craven Community College earning his degree in Electronics Engineering Technology. During his 15+ years at Public Radio East, he has served as an award-winning journalist, producer, and on-air host. When not at the station, Jared enjoys hiking, traveling, and honing his culinary skills.