Northampton County Public Schools is actively working with local community groups to create the Community Food Task Force. This task force, made up of key community leaders and select school personnel, was created to ensure that Northampton’s public schools have a strategy in place to address school food distribution and to make sure all eligible families and children have access to food on a twice-weekly basis during the Covid-19 crisis.
Late last week, the Northampton County Public Schools’ administration became aware that two employees were affected by COVID-19. Both of these individuals had been part of the system, that was instituted by the schools in late March, to distribute food to children and families after the schools were closed due to the pandemic. Out of extreme caution, the school district suspended all its food services until at least May 12.
Just over 80% of the county’s public-school students receive free and reduced lunch, which indicates a high level of food insecurity among children and their families in Northampton County. School breakfast and lunch for many of these children are their only reliable source of food. An interruption to school distributed food is a challenge for most of these families, especially because of the current high levels of unemployment and under-employment due to the shutdown.
The Community Food Task Force is working with the Northampton County Public Schools to distribute food to children until the school food program is up and running again. The Task Force will also continue to meet to create strategies to address any possible future interruptions to the school food program.
The Northampton County Education Foundation (NCEF) is spearheading this effort, in partnership with The Food Bank of the Eastern Shore, Shore Delivery Corps, The Shanty Restaurant in Cape Charles and the Oyster Farm. The initiative is being directly coordinated with the Northampton County Public Schools.
The planned food distribution schedule is as follows:
Tuesday, April 28th: The Food Bank Mobile Pantry will be set-up at Northampton High School from 10am to 12pm. The Food Bank will be passing our non-perishable food boxes. All families should pick up their food at Northampton Middle/High School.
Thursday, April 30th: Non-perishable food boxes, supplied by the Food Bank, will be distributed from 10am to 12pm at Occohannock Elementary School, Kipteopeke Elementary School and Northampton Middle/High School.
Tuesday, May 5th: The Food Bank Mobile Pantry will be set-up at Northampton High School from 10am to 12pm. The Food Bank will be passing our non-perishable food boxes. All families should pick up their food at Northampton Middle/High School.
Thursday, May 7th: Non-perishable food boxes, supplied by The Community Food Task Force, will be distributed from 10am to 12pm at Occohannock Elementary School, Kipteopeke Elementary School and Northampton Middle/High School.
All children who attend Northampton County Public Schools are eligible to participate in this program
The NCEF is a conduit for community support to the public schools and is a 501c3 nonprofit organization. Any community member interested in volunteering or contributing to efforts to support the schools at this time can do so through the NCEF website, ncedufoundation.com. All donations made to or through the NCEF are tax deductible. More information about NCEF can be found at its website.