WASHINGTON — With more than 60 cases of coronavirus across the DMV, government leaders made the decision to shut down all public schools in D.C., Maryland and Virginia for at least two weeks in an effort to slow the spread. But the closures will potentially thousands of students without access to a meal each day.
According to 2017-2018 data from D.C. Public Schools, 77% of students were classified as economically disadvantaged. Virginia's Department of Education 2019-2020 data shows that 46% of the 1.2 million public school children qualify for free and reduced lunches. In Maryland, the 2018-2019 numbers found 43% of the more than 900,000 public school students qualify.
"We recognize this decision places burdens on many of our parents and families, especially for those who rely on school nutrition programs for access to healthy food for their children," Virginia's Secretary of Education Atif Qarni said. "Virginia will continue to explore and implement innovative approaches to provide meals to students who qualify for free and reduced lunch during this closure."
Several nonprofits are stepping up across the region to make sure kids aren't going hungry, but school boards are putting plans in place as well.
Below are the locations, by school district, where students who typically rely on free or reduced meal programs at school can receive a meal during the shutdown. We'll add to this list as more counties finalize their plans.
DC Public Schools:
Officials said free meals will be available to all students, not just DCPS students, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the following locations:
- Anacostia High School
- Ballou High School
- Banneker High School
- Brookland Middle School
- Cardozo Education Campus
- Columbia Heights Education Campus
- Coolidge High School
- Eastern High School
- Jefferson Middle School
- Kelly Miller Middle School
- Kimball Elementary School
- LaSalle-Backus Education Campus
- McKinley Education Campus
- Stanton Elementary School
- Walker-Jones Education Campus
- Woodson High School
Kuya Ja: Monday thru Friday from 11am-1pm parents can bring their kids to pick up a lunch from Kuya Ja. One meal per kid.
5268-H Nicholson Lane Rockville, Maryland
Prince George's County Schools:
Officials have selected the following nine locations to serve as meal sites while all public schools are closed until Mar. 27:
- Andrew Jackson Academy
- Benjamin Tasker Middle School
- Buck Lodge Middle School
- Carmody Hills Elementary
- District Heights Elementary
- Drew-Freeman Middle School
- Dwight D. Eisenhower Middle School
- Hillcrest Heights Elementary
- Frank Dent Elementary
- John Bayne Elementary
- Judge Sylvania Woods Elementary
- Kenmoor Middle School
- Langley Park McCormick Elementary
- Longfields Elementary
- Martin Luther King Jr. Middle School
- Nicholas Orem Middle School
- Port Towns Elementary
- Samuel Chase Elementary
- Stephen Decatur Middle School
- Suitland Elementary
- Templeton Elementary
- Thurgood Marshall Middle School
- Walker Mill Middle School
- William Paca Elementary
- William Wirt Middle School
Charles County Schools:
The district will provide free bagged lunch for kids 18 and under that they will be able to take home with them. Officials anticipate finalizing locations by Monday.
The district will be providing free breakfast (8:30-9:30 a.m.) and lunch (11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.) at the following sites:
• Ballenger Creek Elementary
• Crestwood Middle School
• Frederick High School
• Hillcrest Elementary School
• Lincoln Elementary School
• Monocacy Elementary School
• North Frederick Elementary School
• Waverley Elementary School
In addition, from Wednesday, March 18 to Friday, March 27, FCPS will provide cold lunches at more sites throughout the county. Participants do not have to live in Frederick County, be a FSPS student or be registered to attend the school serving meals.
Officials said they're also delivering cold "to-go" lunches to different community sites.
Calvert County Public Schools
On March 18, the Calvert County Department of Child Nutrition will begin offering free lunches to any children 4 – 18 years old at three locations. The Chesapeake Ranch Estates area, the White Sands area and the Prince Frederick area.
Arlington County Public Schools
Will provide free grab-n-go breakfasts and lunches at two school sites – Kenmore Middle School (200 S. Carlin Springs Road) and Dr. Charles. R. Drew Elementary school (3500 S 23rd Street).
Fairfax County Public School
“Grab and Go” food distribution sites are set up for students outside of schools and participating families in this program will be provided free rides to and from Providence Elementary School. Breakfast will be served from 8 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. and lunch from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. at various locations.
Falls Church City Public Schools
All families who qualify for the federal Free/Reduced Meals Program will receive a two-week supply of non-perishable foods. FCCPS will hold a distribution event through our FCCPS Family Resource Center at Thomas Jefferson Elementary.
If you are not able to pick up your package of food, FCCPS staff and volunteers will help to deliver the packages. Families should contact their school’s Social Worker for support in this area.
Fredericksburg City Public Schools
Fredericksburg City Schools Nutrition Department will be operating a Mobile Feeding Program similar to the Summer Feeding Program for ant child 18 or younger. It’s mapping out a larger “footprint” so they can reach as many children as possible. Service times will be 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Loudoun County Public School
Free meal services at each school from March 16 to March 20 and March 23 to March 27 from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Students are allowed two meals daily and can choose to take both meals simultaneously.
Manassas City Public Schools
Packaged breakfasts and lunches will be provided to-go Monday through Friday beginning March 18th through April 3rd from 11:30 am-12:30 pm at OHS, Round, and Weems to anyone 18 and under.
Check the status of the virus in your state with your state health department's websites by tapping below: