ACS food service

Shown here is a chart on the free food available to students and families through Athens City Schools.

The goal of keeping local students fed will continue throughout the summer for Athens City Schools officials.

During Wednesday’s monthly work session, ACS Director Dr. Melanie Miller announced that the system will expand its offerings and begin adding dinner meals along with breakfast and lunch, which already have been given out since schools were shut down due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Miller noted that the system has handed out more than 125,000 meals since the schools were shut down.

“Think about that — in our little system, over 125,000 meals have been packaged,” Miller said. “I’m very, very proud of all our food service ladies have done.”

Miller also stressed the importance of not letting the coronavirus spread to the schools that are handing out food.

“We’re working very hard to keep Ingleside and Westside quarantined, so to speak,” she said. “We don’t let anybody in the kitchen area because we don’t want our food service shut down. If there were a case, it would be shut down.”

Miller said the system is also seeking more volunteers for the summer months to hand out food as well.

“Many of our volunteers hope to take vacation this summer,” she said, noting that any volunteers would help hand out food and would not work in the kitchen area.

Infrared thermometers have been acquired to take people’s temperatures and volunteers and staff are wearing gloves and masks and dropping off food in vehicles without making contact.

School Board Chairman Mike Bevins recently helped out giving meals to families who came by.

“They took my temperature as soon as I walked in the building,” Bevins said. “I was given gloves and a mask and pointed in the direction.”

He said he really enjoyed the experience of assisting with the food service program.

“I think I got more out of it than they did,” he said. “Just to see the reaction of teachers and students, you can tell they were mutually glad to see each other.”

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