Roanoke, Lynchburg, more join list of county, city public schools offering to feed students during closures

Local News

(WFXR) — The list of public schools in southwest Virginia organizing efforts to offer children nutrition and education despite coronavirus closures has grown to include Roanoke County, Campbell County, Wythe County, the City of Roanoke, the City of Lynchburg, and the City of Martinsville.


Officials from Roanoke County Public Schools say they have developed a distribution network using their afternoon school bus routes to deliver free bagged meals to students starting on Monday, March 16. In addition, starting Tuesday, March 17, Roanoke County Public Schools has arranged for free hot meals to be ready for pickup at several schools throughout the county every weekday at noon. Parents can notify school officials of meal preferences by calling their kids’ schools or by following this link, clicking the “Meals” tab, and filling out a form.

Roanoke County Public Schools says teachers will also reach out to students and parents in the next few days — unless they already did so — to discuss the details of remote learning. School officials say they are working to identify families without internet so teachers can print instructional materials that will be delivered to the students’ homes starting Wednesday, March 18.

“While the state obligates us to provide continuity of learning, we also do not want put extra pressure or stress on families about keeping up with schoolwork, nor overload students with too much screen time,” says Roanoke County Public Schools. “Our goal is to strike a balance between providing resources and learning opportunities, having our teachers and counselors provide support, but not penalizing any student or adding undue stress.”

If you have difficulty reaching your child’s teacher or school in Roanoke County, please call the Roanoke County Public Schools hotline at (540) 562-3791.


Campbell County Public Schools will allow all children up to age 18 to pick up breakfast and lunch from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Monday through Thursday — with Friday’s meal included on Thursday — starting Tuesday, March 17.

School officials say bagged meals will be served “drive-thru” style in the parking lots of the following schools:

  • Altavista Elementary School
  • Brookneal Elementary School
  • Concord Elementary School
  • Leesville Elementary School
  • Tomahawk Elementary School
  • Rustburg Elementary School
  • Yellow Branch Elementary School


School officials from Wythe County Public Schools will offer two days’ worth of meals on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday while schools are closed. The meals can be collected from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at Fort Chiswell High School, George Wythe High School, Rural Retreat High School, but the children must be present.

Bus deliveries will also be offered on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at numerous locations listed on the Wythe County Public Schools’ news release.

The Wythe County Sheriff’s Office will also assist students who need meals but have no means of transportation. Parents can call or send a message to the sheriff’s office with the students’ names, schools, and addresses and deputies will deliver their meals to the house.


According to Roanoke City Public Schools, parents and guardians can expect a robo call around noon on Monday with more detailed instructions, but in general, virtual lessons will begin on the Tuesday afternoon. However, for those who do not have a personal device or internet at home, school officials plan to distribute printed materials for the week via bus routes.

In addition, starting Tuesday, bus drivers will use their routes to deliver lunch for the day and breakfast for the next day, school officials say. Roanoke City Public Schools says that parents and guardians will receive a robo call shortly before the bus arrives at the bus stop.

Meanwhile, Roanoke City Public Schools is working with Congregations in Action to provide extra food to students, especially on the weekend.

“During this two week closure, it is important for your student to have a routine. Make sure they wake up at an appropriate time. Create a learning space in your home for them to work each day,” says Roanoke City Public Schools. “Like you, we are concerned about the mental health of students during this closure. Resources will be made available to help you and your children.”


Lynchburg City Schools says breakfast and lunch will be available to all children up to age 18 regardless of income. School employees will deliver bagged meals to elementary bus stops from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. on Monday through Friday.

Students can also pick up the meals curbside at the following schools from 11:00 a.m. to noon:

  • Heritage High School
  • E. C. Glass High School
  • Dunbar Middle School
  • Linkhorne Middle School


On Sunday morning, Martinsville City Public Schools announced its plans to offer a free lunch and snack to students 18 and under from Wednesday, March 18 through Friday, March 27. These to-go bags or boxes can be picked up from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on weekdays at Patrick Henry Elementary School or Albert Harris Elementary School, but according to school officials, the students must be present to receive them. However, officials say parents or caregivers may purchase their own meal and snack for $3.50.

Martinsville City Public Schools say its buses will also deliver free meals to centralized stops — not all stops — along their routes, but students are required to pick up the meal from the nutrition staff on the bus. For more information about this process, please call (276) 403-5172.


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