Pasco County Schools has delivered more than a million meals to students since school campuses closed.
The district has been serving bagged meals at numerous sites and bus stops to provide meals to students who, in many cases, rely on schools for their only reliable source of food.
Since March 23, when the district began its remote feeding efforts, the district has served 1,095,537 meals, according to Betsy Kuhn, assistant superintendent for support services.
The district has been serving 10 meals per student age 18 and under, at each of its locations, accounting for five days’ worth of meals, including a breakfast and lunch for each day.
Last week, it served an additional five meals because the operation is closed this week.
Next week, it reopens on June 2. Check the district’s website for locations because some of them have been closed and consolidated with other locations.
The district also had three Farm Fresh Pop-ups last week — at Cypress Creek Middle High, Anclote High and Centennial Middle School.
The district’s maintenance team served 2,300 boxes of vegetables, weighing 10 pounds each, at those three sites.
Those aren’t the only efforts to help provide food for children and families in need, during this coronavirus disease-2019 pandemic.
Sunlake High School and Land O’ Lakes High School collected more than 2,000 pounds of food for the St. Vincent De Paul Food Pantry, in their COVID-19 Quarantine Butterbowl.
“This week’s Butterbowl has ended, and the winner is the community,” tweeted Ric Mellin, principal at Land O’ Lakes High School. The donations exceeded expectations, he noted.
“Both schools should be proud of what they accomplished,” Mellin wrote.
Pasco County Commission Chairman Mike Moore, State Rep. Randy Maggard and more than 50 volunteers helped distribute 33,000 pounds of food to an estimated 700 cars on May 20 at The Shops at Wiregrass, according to Andy Taylor, Mike Moore’s aide.
A group of Saint Leo University students also were among the volunteers.
Meanwhile, food pantries are helping to put food on the tables of those in need, too.
Make a Difference Inc., will have a Mobile Food Pantry on May 28 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., at the Pasco County Fairgrounds, 37722 State Road 52. No identification is required, and the food is distributed on a first-come, first-served basis.
Atonement Lutheran Church, at 29617 State Road 54, has reopened its Helping Hands Food Pantry, and is providing a drive-thru service on Wednesdays from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. The church is observing social distancing restrictions.
Father and Son Love Ministries, at 21418 Carson Drive in Land O’ Lakes, operates a food pantry on Tuesdays, from noon to 2 p.m.; Fridays, from noon to 3 p.m.; and on Sundays, starting at 12:30 p.m.
On one recent Friday afternoon, the Land O’ Lakes pantry served 174 people.
The ministry has marked its floor to guide people through its pantry, in order to practice social distancing.
Pastor C.J. Johns Sr., said the pantry is serving a broader range of people because of economic impacts caused by the pandemic. Before, about three-quarters using the food pantry were elderly, but now they make up just about half.
Besides offering the pantry, the church also will make deliveries to people who are unable to come there.
Also, the First Presbyterian Church, at 5510 19th St., in Zephyrhills, is serving a free take-out meal every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m., at the church.
Before heading out to any food pantry, it’s a good idea to call ahead or check the website to get the latest information on the days and hours of operation.
Published May 27, 2020