Governor’s Working Group getting food to children who are out of school; connecting families to ChildCare

North Carolina

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCT) Schools are closed and many children across North Carolina are getting their daily meals from school districts and community partners.

As of Saturday, March 22nd, more than 1,165 schools had already served 1.2 million meals and 6,500 snacks.

“Many children rely on schools for their meals, so we have acted quickly to make sure our children have enough food each day,” said Governor Roy Cooper. “This is the kind of collaboration, action, and creativity we will continue to need across our state in the weeks ahead. Together, we will come through this stronger.”

School districts have flexibility on how to distribute food and have implemented a variety of innovative methods for meal pick-up and delivery and most sites began serving meals on March 16.

The Working Group has submitted multiple waivers to the US Department of Agriculture to maximize federal resources to provide food to children in North Carolina.

The group is also finalizing a plan to ensure that those working to keep the communities safe and healthy as part of the state’s COVID-19 response have access to child care.

Child care will be prioritized for first responders, emergency management staff, hospital staff, frontline healthcare providers, nursing and adult group home staff, child care program staff, food service staff, and others providing critical support, as well as children who are homeless or in unstable or unsafe living arrangements.

The Working Group was established in Governor Cooper’s Executive Order No. 117, which ordered the statewide closure of K-12 public schools to allow time to further understand the impact of COVID-19 and develop a plan for continued learning for students.

NC DHHS and DPI are focused on providing:

  • Frontline workers with access to safe, affordable child care and out-of-school-time care options,
  • Children with access to nutritious food while schools and child care programs are closed
  • Children with opportunities for structured learning while schools and child care programs are closed.

To provide for children’s ongoing educational needs while schools and child care programs are closed, NCDPI has published a set of resources for educators and families, including on Remote Learning instruction and recommendations for leadership.

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