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WCS Details meal distribution during remote learning

WHS Principal Chris Blanton prepares food during summer feeding.

Watauga County Schools is set to begin the 2020-21 school year August 17 with a nine week period of remote learning for most students. While students will not attend school in person during this time, meals are set to be distributed at each school to any WCS students.

Beginning Aug. 17, Watauga County Schools will offer curbside meal pickup from Noon to 1:00 p.m. each day for students who are taking part in remote learning. Breakfast and lunch will be served simultaneously at the curbside sites. The person picking up the meal must have their student’s ID number if the student is not present.

Watauga County Schools Superintendent Scott Elliott said that, because of the elimination of state and federal funding and waivers that allowed greater flexibility in the district’s meal distribution over the summer, meals will only be available to students who are enrolled in Watauga County Schools.

“We served 250,000 meals over the Spring and Summer to any child in Watauga County who came to one of our meal distribution sites regardless of means or school enrollment,” Elliott said. “But that level of service depended entirely on supplemental funding and flexibility from state and federal sources that has since been discontinued. Our Child Nutrition Program is an enterprise operation that depends on lunch and breakfast service to sustain itself.”

Elliott said families are encouraged to use the LunchPrepay system to electronically put money on paid student accounts ahead of the school year. Change for cash purchases will not be available at curbside locations. If families have students at multiple school locations, they may pick up meals at the school that is most convenient for them.

Meals are available for free and reduced lunch recipients and families are encouraged to complete their free/reduced meal application using the online form at https://www.wataugaschools.org/Page/3209.