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TCSS provides students meals throughout spring break

The Troup County School System generated more than 51,000 meals for students this past Friday to feed students throughout spring break.

According to a news release from the school system, cafeteria employees, bus drivers, custodial staff, teachers and school and district administrators have served over 61,000 meals throughout the past two weeks.

“The total breakfast meals served (Friday) were 25,734, and the total lunch meals served today was 25,726,” TCSS Nutrition Director Diana Pain said. “That is a grand total of 51,460 meals served in one day. We anticipated 31,000 meals, and we had an extra buffer to get us to 40,000 meals. This was a herculean effort on the part of the nutrition staff and volunteers because it required us to make 11,000 extra meals on site Friday.”

Pain said families are counting on the school system to feed students throughout the year, even though school is not in session. She said the staff at TCSS also want to help feed students but are taking extra precautions due to COVID-19.

“We have roughly 55 people who have committed to making this happen,” Pain said. “We spread out as much as possible, we have placed signs and markers to keep our staff the minimum distance apart, our kitchens are sanitized every morning before work, we change gloves quite often, and we have good sanitation practices.”

The five breakfast meals and five lunch meals consist of a variety of food such as peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, chicken nuggets, hamburgers, muffins, cereal bars, craisins, oranges, grapes and pop tarts. Pain said the meals are nutritionally balanced, can be made in the microwave, and there are a variety of flavors and food types that are appealing to students.

Pain said community organizations like Good Samaritan Ministries had provided canned goods for distribution at school drive-thru sites. She said her team, volunteers and organizations throughout the community trying to help people are all special.

“There are just not enough appropriate words to use for this group of people,” Pain said. “They have gone above and beyond in a short period of time to provide for the families of this county. Everyone has been an integral part, including the bus drivers, the custodians and the school staff. They have been good-natured in helping us find families that wouldn’t be on the straight bus routes. This helps us provide better services. People now know when they see the yellow bus coming down the road, there is food. It’s a good feeling.”