Southampton schools distribute meals during closure

Published 7:14 pm Tuesday, March 17, 2020

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Cafeteria staff preparing meals are, left to right, Sylvie Murphy, Viola Worrell, Elaine Barnes and Gevonia Freeman. Submitted Alice L. Williams


Southampton County Public School Division moved swiftly on Friday, after Gov. Ralph Northam’s statewide school closure announcement, to develop a plan to provide meals for Southampton County children who are 18 years of age or younger. This is according to Alice L. Williams, spokeswoman for the school divison.

She continued, “Through the collective efforts of the Food Services Department Supervisor Angela Sproul and Assistant Raquel Lockelear and district administration, led by Division Superintendent Dr. Gwendolyn Shannon, the plan was developed and implemented on Monday, the first day of the closure.”

Williams went on to state that the meal distribution plan is a drive-thru meal service operating out of Riverdale Elementary School. Three days of meals, breakfast and lunch, are being provided for each child on Mondays, and then meals are provided again for three days on Thursdays.

Individuals picking up meals simply need to drive to the back of the school and meals will be handed to them while they are in their vehicle. Children do not need to be present in the car to receive the meals.

“The first day of meal distribution was a huge success,” stated Williams in a press release to the paper. “Southampton County Public Schools provided approximately 2,000 meals to the children of Southampton County. Through our partnership with the Obici Grant Foundation, the Foodbank of Southeastern Virginia and Eastern Shore will provide fresh produce that will be distributed along with the school meals on Thursday, March 19. The produce is being provided as a replacement for the very successful Healthy School Market program that was originally scheduled for later this month.”

She added that in order to ensure enough meals are prepared each distribution day, parents should send the number of students, or persons under the age of 18 in the household, for whom they are requesting meals to: their principal’s REMIND app, Dr. Shannon’s inbox directly on Facebook messenger, Dr. Shannon directly by text at 757-653-4464, or call 757-352-8951 or 757-556-4890.

“Southampton County Public School Division considers it a pleasure to be able to provide this service to our community,” said Williams. “We are very appreciative of the employees, faculty, staff and administration, who are volunteering their time to distribute the meals.

“Please stay safe and healthy during the statewide school closure.”