Winter Break Meal Program Served 150 Students

NEWARK – Education officials reported that the winter break meal program offered in Pocomoke fed more than 150 students in December.

Concerned about students going hungry over the lengthy holiday break, Worcester County Public Schools worked with the Worcester County Commissioners to offer a holiday meal program at Pocomoke Middle School. Pocomoke area students were able to visit the school for hot meals and take home boxes of food while schools were closed.

“I know this program truly made an impact for the over 150 students served,” Superintendent Lou Taylor said.

For this year’s winter break, schools closed early on Dec. 20 and didn’t reopen until Jan. 6.

“One of the chief concerns I have with these long breaks is ensuring our students in need have access to nutritious meals that can sustain them while our schools are closed,” Taylor said. “I want to express my sincere thanks to our county commissioners who shared our concerns and committed $10,000 to fund a pilot program which established a winter break feeding site at Pocomoke Middle School.”

Taylor credited the three Pocomoke area school principals—Michael Browne, Matthew Record and Jenifer Rayne—with ensuring the meal program ran smoothly.

Thanks to the funding from the commissioners, Record said the students were able to benefit from food boxes, hot meals served at the school, and meal bags. School system staff event visited neighborhoods in town to pass out food.

“If you want to feed people you’ll find a way,” Record said.

Browne said the food was available for all Pocomoke area students. Officials used social media, flyers and coordination with local churches and other organizations to share news of the meal opportunities.

Rayne said students also helped with the effort.

“It gives a critical opportunity to our students to give back to the community,” she said. “It was cool to see our students rallying after school to put boxes together.”

She added that more than 2,000 pounds of food was distributed through the food boxes and meal bags made possible through the school system’s partnership with the Maryland Food Bank.

In all 156 students were served, 180 hot meals were prepared and 256 food boxes were distributed through the program.

About The Author: Charlene Sharpe

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Charlene Sharpe has been with The Dispatch since 2014. A graduate of Stephen Decatur High School and the University of Richmond, she spent seven years with the Delmarva Media Group before joining the team at The Dispatch.