What's Growing On: ACPS Giving Out Free Meals to Students

Published: Apr. 17, 2020 at 6:17 PM EDT
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Even though schools are closed across North Central Florida, students in Alachua County are still getting school lunches, just in a different way.

ACPS is now offering to go meals for students aged zero to eighteen.

The free meal program began march 30 and consists of 33 sites at schools and over 30 different bus routes.

Maria Eunice, director of food & nutrition for ACPS, says, “last week we served 152,500 meals. Just on Friday alone we fed over 76,000 meals. So we’re at just over 300,000 meals to date.”

Although it has been a challenge to get some fresh fruit and produce from local farms, it looks like that will be changing next week.

Eunice says, “we just got word this week from the state that we can use the funds from our fresh food and vegetable program so we're going to be working with Jordan at the family farm to bring in more produce so that we can package that for our fresh food and vegetable sites.”

This week, they received a shipment of blueberries from clay ranch blueberry farm. Maria says giving kids fresh produce is very important.

“It's been very difficult to transition and not be able to buy as much produce as we normally would. So we're glad we are able to pick this back up and have it starting again to be able to have that fresh, local, organic in some cases, produce to go to our children as well.”

To participate in the free meal program, no registration is required, you just show up to any of the school locations, tell them how many meals you need, and continue on your way.