SALEM, Va. (WFXR) – Our Daily Bread Bakery and Bistro in Salem is making food not only for paying customers but for a community in need.
Starting Tuesday, March 17, the store will give out free meals to children and families who need a warm lunch while they’re out of school.
Last week, Gov. Ralph Northam ordered all K-12 schools in Virginia to close for a minimum of two weeks in response to the continued spread of coronavirus. There are currently 51 “presumptive positive” or confirmed cases around the Commonwealth, according to the Virginia Department of Health.
Every weekday (except Mondays) from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m., students will receive a free breakfast meal including scrambled eggs, bacon, and a small pancake. Students will also receive a free bagged lunch of either ham and swiss or peanut butter and jelly sandwich, chips, and a decorated St. Patrick’s Day cookie.
The store’s owner Danielle Shumate says they plan on providing free meals until schools re-open.
Along with her husband David and store manager Maria Hudson, Danielle has been running the bakery without any additional staff. All three of her employees, college students at Roanoke College, decided to stay home after the school suspended all in-person classes March 12.
Danielle says the business has been slow going, like many others around Salem.
As the coronavirus outbreak continues to spread, the store has also been implementing sanitary precautions for both its customers and staff.
While they’re providing free meals for students throughout the Roanoke Valley, she’s asking for the community’s help by providing meal preparation items like sandwich bags, juice boxes, and chips.
The store offers in-person pick-up, as well as curbside delivery. A child must be present to receive the free meal.
There are three Our Daily Bread locations in the Southwest Virginia: Salem, Roanoke, and Blackburg. The Salem location is the only store to participating in giving away free meals.
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