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Served With Care: Meals for Students
Served With Care: Meals for Students
Posted on 04/17/2020
BCS staff continue to meet student meal needs countywide during the COVID-19 pandemic.Featured Photo: A local BCS mother picks up lunches for her children during the COVID-19 pandemic. Photo taken by permission.

By: Benjamin Rickert, BCS Communications

Mark Riley of the Progressive Education Program serves a meal from a school bus.At an apartment complex near A.C. Reynolds Middle School on Thursday, a yellow bus sat in the shade with a large umbrella fastened above a rear door. For two hours, students and parents walked from all directions to get a tasty meal. Since schools closed for student instruction by executive order last month, serving meals has been an essential part of meeting student needs and supporting effective learning.

“The kids have their hot lunch, the cold part of their lunch, and breakfast for the next day,” explained Mr. Mark Riley of the BCS Progressive Education Program.

Each day, Riley spends a portion of the day serving meals alongside coworker Ms. Clara Bork. The meals were prepared by BCS Nutrition and other staff at nearby Oakley Elementary School. Riley said the kids are always happy to see the bus arrive and are very polite when receiving their meals.

Clara Bork of the Progressive Education Program puts on protective gloves at a meal serving site.“I see one young boy every day — he just loves to tell me every kind of food that is his favorite,” Riley said with a smile. “He’ll list every food he loves and ask if it is in his lunch bag today.”

On Thursday, students carried their meals in plastic bags donated by Ingles stores located in the Black Mountain and Enka-Candler areas. Bork was encouraged to see local schools and community partners like Ingles working together to support learning during the COVID-19 crisis.

“We’re just trying to take care of the children,” Bork said. “That’s the main thing.”

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, meals are served Monday through Friday to children ages 2-18 at school and community sites countywide. Breakfasts are served from 7:30 a.m. - 8:30 a.m. and lunches are served from 11:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m. During lunch on Friday, weekend meal boxes will also be sent home for students ages 2-18. Meal sites and up-to-date information can be found at Response.BuncombeSchools.org.

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Buncombe County Schools is in the process of reviewing its website to ensure compliance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Buncombe County Schools does not discriminate on the basis of sex in its education programs or activities and is required by Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972 and federal regulations to not discriminate in such a manner. This requirement extends to admission and employment. Inquiries about the application of Title IX and its implementing federal regulations may be referred to the Title IX Coordinator and/or the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights in the Office for Civil Rights at the U.S. Department of Education. The Title IX Coordinator's contact information is: Shanon Martin, shanon.martin@bcsemail.org, 828-255-5918, 175 Bingham Road, Asheville, NC 28806.

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