Education, Latest News, Preston County

Preston County kids get meals right to their doorsteps during remote learning

KINGWOOD — About 2,600 kids were signed up to receive free meals delivered to their door while Preston County is on remote learning, and another opportunity to sign up will soon be available.

Those who signed up their children in the first round will not have to do so again, child nutrition coordinator for Preston County Schools Beth Doerr said. The second sign-up will be shared on the school system’s social media and website, with the deadline for signing up.

PCS is working with Multitude Foods, a West Virginia company, to deliver the meals right to students’ doors, Doerr said. She said several other counties also use the company, which provides meals that meet or exceed the federal guidelines.

Multitude Foods was born out of the pandemic and the demand it created for an easy way to distribute meals to students who weren’t physically in school, according to the company’s website. For many, meals they receive in school are the only food they get.

At its regular meeting on Monday, the Preston County Board of Education voted to sign a contract to work with the company.

The meals aren’t just for students who go to a physical school in Preston County, Superintendent Steve Wotring said.

“This year again, as I think you all know, we are 100% free and reduced meals. And it’s called like the open-meal policy. So any, anybody 18 is under, can receive a meal,” Wotring said. “If they’re home-schooled, and if they’re in private school, if they are remote learning. … And then children even 1-to-4 years old can receive a meal.”

Last school year, the schools packed meals and delivered them by school bus, Wotring said. With Multitude Foods, the meals are delivered directly to the doorstep.

This week, the meal delivery will contain four breakfasts and four lunches, Doerr said. Next week’s deliveries will contain five of each meal.

In addition to covering the school system during its current remote learning until Sept. 27, the contract will cover any future needs, Wotring said.

Once the majority of students return to physical school, those who are home-schooled, 100% virtual learning, or otherwise home-bound will have the opportunity to continue to receive the meals, Doerr said.

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