Grab and Go lunches update

Hillsborough County shifts to carrying out Grab and Go lunches once a week.


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Ella Wertz, News Editor

Hillsborough County has decided to change the Grab and Go meals to one day a week. However, with this change schools will be providing a week’s worth amount of food for students.

Specific schools were chosen to operate as Grab and Go locations to make sure that each student has available access to food if needed.

“We have 147 school sites that are offering our Grab and Go meals to students. We wanted to ensure we offered locations throughout our district knowing families may be in need throughout the community,”said Tanya Arja, Media Outreach for Hillsborough County Public Schools. “We know many families are struggling right now with possible layoffs and furloughs.”

If students are unable to get the meals themselves, families may contact Hillsborough County to bring students the food on buses.

“We have 150 school buses that are stopping at 330 bus stops to bring food to our students who may not be able to get to a Grab and Go site,” said Arja.

Hillsborough County made the decision to change their food distribution to once a week in attempt to reduce contact in order to cooperate with the CDC’s Stay at Home order.

This new distribution plan began Wednesday, April 15th. Families can visit the schools between 9 am and 11 am for food pick up. Wednesday is the designated day for pick up.

“Last Wednesday, families were able to pick up a week’s worth of food, once a week instead of traveling to a site every day. On Wednesday last week, our staff distributed 920,000 meals. The meals include breakfast and lunch portions,” said Arja.

At the Grab and Go facilities, students will receive two bags of food: one bag that should be refrigerated and one bag that can stay at room temperature. The food given will be one pound of lunch meat, a loaf of bread, dry snacks, milk and juice.

“We order the food from our vendors, much like we would for student breakfast and lunches if school was in session,” said Arja. “We’ve been working with a number of vendors to get the quantity of food we need right now to serve so many in our community.”

Hillsborough County is working to supply students 18 years old or younger and special needs students 21 years or younger with the necessary meals they rely on from schools, to ensure their safety during this period of social distancing.

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