inFocus: Food Choices for Children during a Pandemic

inFOCUS

Montgomery County, Md. (WDVM) – Local schools have been always been a source of meals for children. However, obtaining those meals has gotten harder with school doors closed and virtual classes becoming the norm,

Many school systems in Maryland have been providing “To-go” breakfast and lunch meals. Frederick County Public School’s Director of Food and Nutrition Services, Robert Kelly, says they have extended their summer meal program through December 2020 under new USDA regulations, .

“They don’t have to be a Frederick County resident or even enrolled in Frederick County Public Schools,” Kelly said. “Just 18 years or younger and we can provide them free breakfast and lunch.”

Some community members have also recognized the need and have made efforts to get food into the hands of families through local pickup sites. Deneice Mozziotta recently opened a small food pantry in her neighborhood of Montgomery Village based on the notion that nobody should go to bed hungry.

“As long as there’s food in it, people can come,” Mozziotta said. “The whole idea is ‘take what you need, leave what you can, or give what you can.'”

Montgomery County Elementary School Teacher Margaret Norris has been helping bag and donates thousands of groceries to families in need.

Norris says they started giving groceries since the state first shut down in March, and they don’t have plans to stop any time soon.

“I’m going to keep doing it as long as I can,” Norris said. “I hopefully, god willing, I can do it for a very long time.”

Norris says if food is a scarcity in a home, any attempts to educate the children will become increasingly difficult.

“There are a lot of children out there that when they’re eating, they’re not sure they’re going to eat again today.” Norris said.” … Who cares about a times table when you don’t know if you’re going to eat tomorrow?”

Norris says people should remember they are not alone and to reach out to their local school systems to make sure their families can be fed.

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