Students of Charlottesville City Schools will continue to receive free meals during what was originally scheduled to be the division’s spring break, thanks to a coordinated effort by the Charlottesville Food Justice Network organizations
According to a joint news release from the City Schoolyard Garden and the Chris Long Foundation, both of which are part of the Food Justice Network, the program will provide 4,000 meals to Charlottesville children living in neighborhoods with high enrollment in free and reduced-price meal programs. Around 54% of Charlottesville students qualify for free and reduced-price meals, according to the release.
“CCS has been running a robust program to distribute meals to students that rely on school food since March,” said Jeanette Abi-Nader, executive director of City Schoolyard, in the release. “Spring Break will give the school district a well deserved rest as the community moves into another six weeks of shelter in place.”
The meals will come from two Charlottesville restaurants, Pearl Island Catering and Mochiko Cville.
The Chris Long Foundation is funding the meals with the hopes of helping area restaurant staff and local businesses, per the release.
“We know that our community is struggling right now,” founder Chris Long said in the release. “We wanted to find a way to provide relief for our neighbors and also support Charlottesville dining institutions that are being hard hit. We are thrilled to have our first project be with CCS and City Schoolyard Garden to address the immediate need to provide meals to students.”
The program will distribute meals at five community distribution points on Monday, April 6, and Wednesday, April 8, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the following locations:
▪ Westhaven Community Center, 803 Hardy Drive.
▪ Friendship Court, 418 Garrett St.
▪ South First Street Community Center, 1001 First St.
▪ Hearthwood Apartments in front of the pool house, 2111 Michie Drive.
▪ Greenstone on 5th Street in front of the community center, 746 Prospect Ave.
Monday and Wednesdays pickups will include two days’ worth of meals and snacks.
The spring break distribution marks the beginning of the Chris Long Foundation’s Grub4Good program, which will begin the week of April 12 and run for at least four weeks.
According to the release, the program will provide meals throughout the community by partnering with local nonprofits and city agencies and all meals will be prepared from local Charlottesville restaurants.
Albemarle County Public Schools will continue their meals distribution and is adding two additional sites beginning Monday.
The new locations are at Broadus Wood Elementary School and the Four Seasons complex, in the lower parking lot parallel to Four Seasons Drive.
The county now distributes meals at 20 locations, including the new sites.
Meals are available Monday through Friday to all county students or siblings ages 18 or younger, free of charge and regardless of family income. The meals are expected to continue through June 5, with the exception of Memorial Day.
A full list of times and locations is available on the county’s website at k12albemarle.org/acps/division/Pages/Student-Meal-Service.aspx.
According to the school division’s chief operating officer, Rosalyn Schmitt, the program currently is providing 1,100 meals a day to students.