Education, Latest News, Monongalia County

School feeding program resumes June 8

The feeding program introduced this spring by Mon County Schools in response to COVID-19 will resume next month, the district announced.

Drive-through pickups will begin June 8 at Skyview Elementary, Mountainview Elementary and Mason-Dixon Elementary, Brian Kiehl said.

Kiehl directs child nutrition services for the district.

That’s two weeks from now, though, Kiehl said, and to bridge the nutrition gap, the Mountaineer Food Bank is coming to town for a food giveaway Tuesday.

The roving food pantry, which is based in Gassaway, will set up   from 11 a.m.-1 p.m., at 500 East Parkway Drive, Kiehl said.

“It’s a stop-gap,” Kiehl said, “until we get going again.”

The pantry will offer one food box per car, Kiehl said, while supplies last.

It’s what’s in those boxes that count, Kiehl said.

Same for the fare Mon Schools will offer the following week.

The pickups at the three schools   will run every Monday through mid-August after the June 8 start date.

The Monday meals will be distributed from 11-11:30 a.m. at Skyview, and noon-12:30 p.m. at Mountainview and Mason-Dixon.

Ten meals, the director said: Five apiece for breakfast and lunch.

“These are the things you drop in the oven or the microwave,” Kiehl said.

That menu is also a stop-gap, the director said.

If bellies are growling, he said, brains aren’t engaged and bodies aren’t moving.

 Calories are key to cognitive and physical development, he said.

Besides, Kiehl said, food insecurity is never late for class.

For sociologists and those who run soup kitchens, food insecurity is a gnawing negative to the human condition.

 A clinical one, also.

If you’re “food insecure,” that means you’re not taking in enough food to sustain yourself nutritionally.

One in five children across West Virginia are food insecure, according to Feeding America, the online watchdog group.

More than 2,000 children across relatively prosperous Monongalia County also have a seat at that table.

Pandemic-driven downsizings and furloughs can only make it worse, the nutrition director said.

Besides, Kiehl added, summer is no fun — when you’re hungry.

“We have to keep our kids fed.”

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