Amid the shutdown that began on March 16, a group of dedicated employees with the Polk School District was out at several locations across the county offering something that is desperately needed for youth stuck at home: a way to eat.
When Polk School District made the decision to close amid the crisis happening around coronavirus, they put in place a program to ensure not only that local children that should be in the classroom have access to the free breakfast and lunch program paid for by federal dollars, but that they be easy to pick up.
Locations around Cedartown, Rockmart and Aragon were setup for parent to stop by and grab meals on a daily basis, with thousands so far served after a week. Superintendent Laurie Atkins said that on average, between breakfast and lunch that some 1,200 meals were being served each day. The peak number on March 19 was up to 2,270 meals combined.
She said the district was glad to be able to offer students meals they need, and have enlisted the help of bus drivers and educators alike to distribute them.
Carmen Fenley was one of several people on hand Thursday at the old Arrow Shirt Factory in Cedartown providing meals and directed studies packets for children stuck at home. They’d given more than 100 bags of breakfast and lunch, with chocolate milks as well.
“We want to make sure that they get a breakfast and a lunch, and make sure they get their bellies filled,” she said.
Schools are set to remain closed through April 13, and the program is expected to continue through the duration. Those in need of breakfast and lunch can stop at locations from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. on weekdays on both sides of the county.
In Cedartown: Antioch Baptist Church at 3923 Antioch Road, the Old Arrow Shirt Factory parking lot at 806 West Ave., the Old Cedartown Paperboard location at 312 Ellawood Ave., Turner Street Park, the Bert Wood Youth and Athletic Center, a location at 201 West Ellawood in Cedartown, the Home Depot Parking lot, the corner of Main Street and Cason Road and the Central Office.
In Rockmart: Victory Baptist Church, Aragon Baptist Churhc, Pleasant Hill Mobile Home Park, Fairview Baptist Church, Yellow Jacket Park in the Goodyear Village, the Nathan Dean Sports Complex, the Hogue Avenue gymnasium and Forrest Court.
Check online for additional updates on school closures and the Grab-and-Go program as it becomes available.