JCPS Provides More Than 80,000 Meals For Children Over The Holidays

School Nutrition staff for Johnston County Public Schools served Holiday Meal Kits to nearly 6,000 children ahead of the district’s winter break. 

JCPS Director of School Nutrition Dana Edwards said the response to the Holiday Meal Kit program surpassed her expectations, having families pre-order 5,721 meal kits for pick up.

The meal kits consisted of seven days of breakfast and lunch meals, as well as a gallon of milk for each student while they are out on winter break. In total, JCPS School Nutrition staff provided 80,094 meals to students in Johnston County.

Families had the opportunity to sign up for the free Holiday Meal Kits in the weeks leading up to the distribution for children in their household. Any child in Johnston County under the age of 18 was able to receive a week’s worth of meals. The meals were available for curbside pick up at the district’s high schools on Thursday, Dec. 17 and Friday, Dec. 18.

 “Cafeteria staff have been packaging these meal kits all week and are using innovative ways of packaging seven days of meals together,” said Edwards. 

This is the first year that Johnston County Public Schools has been able to offer this opportunity to its students and their families. Edwards said the Holiday Meal Kits were possible in part because of the USDA’s commitment to children across America having access to food as the nation recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic, and their extension of free meals for students throughout the 2020-21 school year.

“Our hope is that our holiday meal kits relieve stress from parents during the holidays to provide much needed meals for their children,” said Edwards. “From our School Nutrition family to yours, Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!”