Collier County students might call it an extended Spring Break, while parents call statewide public school closures a struggle.

Monday, March 16th 2020, 10:21 PM EDT by Jennifer Kveglis

COLLIER COUNTY, Fla. – Collier County students might call it an extended Spring Break, while parents call statewide public school closures a struggle.

Some parents working full-time amid the coronavirus closure relied on free or reduced lunches for their kids. A collaboration of Collier County community partners, the Boys & Girls Club, Collier Public Schools, and Harry Chapin Food Bank are making sure no child or family goes hungry. 

“To be frank, all of us are entering uncharted territory here,” Richard LeBer, president & CEO of Harry Chapin Food Bank, said. Harry Chapin Food Bank feeds one in five families in Collier County.

He said, “We anticipate, depending on how badly the outbreak of Coronavirus gets that there may be a lot of families that help. In some cases because people are sick and they are home and they’re caring for kids and the kids may be home from school of course.” Beginning Tuesday, Collier Public Schools will hand out free meals from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at 27 sites:  

  1. Avalon Elementary
  2. Big Cypress Elementary
  3. Calusa Park Elementary
  4. Cypress Palm Middle
  5. East Naples Middle
  6. Eden Park Elementary
  7. Estates Elementary
  8. Everglades City School
  9. Golden Gate Elementary
  10. Golden Gate High
  11. Golden Gate Middle
  12. Golden Terrace Elementary
  13. Highlights Elementary
  14. Immokalee High
  15. Lake Trafford Elementary
  16. Lely Elementary
  17. Lely High
  18. Manatee Middle
  19. Mike Davis Elementary
  20. Naples Park Elementary
  21. Palmetto Elementary
  22. Palmetto Ridge High
  23. Parkside Elementary
  24. Pinecrest Elementary
  25. Poinciana Elementary
  26. Shadowlawn Elementary
  27. Village Oaks Elementary

Meanwhile, Harry Chapin Food Bank plans to cover the back end with mobile pantries. The child must be present at the drive to receive a meal. 

He said, “The public school sites will be great for people who can get in their car and get a meal, but we want to make sure that we’re covering all the various communities and so we’ll be at other locations as well.” Before Collier Schools’ locations launch Tuesday, Boys & Girls Club of Collier County opened a drive-thru meal exchange at their East Naples and Immokalee locations. Employees delivered meals to students’ homes, who could not find transportation.

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