Fort Bragg schools prepare meals for students through meals on wheels program during COVID-19 outbreak

FORT BRAGG, N.C. (WTVD) -- Fort Bragg raised its health protection condition to "Charlie." Charlie is next to the highest level which means their encouraging social distancing and recommending soldiers and their families to shelter in place on the post.

The COVID-19 outbreak is also posing a challenge to students who depend on meals for schools on post. Despite that, Fort Bragg is still preparing meals for those who need them.

"This is one way we're maintaining consistency for our students to make sure they're healthy and happy even when we're not seeing them every day," said Kathy Downs, the Fort Bragg Community Superintendent.

Foodservice workers spent Wednesday morning preparing meals inside Erwin Intermediate School. Since learning from home has become the new normal for students, officials want to make sure they are receiving a nutritionally balanced meal.

"We also have to keep in account what resources we have on hand. We try to promote a recipe for it that they would enjoy," said Veronica Lee, Fort Bragg's Nutrition Clerk.

Fort Bragg opened three feeding drive-thru sites aimed at providing both breakfast and lunch for all students up to age 18. According to foodservice staff, that equates to about 2,700 meals a day and nearly 19,000 meals a week.

"My family in particular with five kids usually snacks and things can take $50 to $70 a week. Just to feed them snacks with lunches this almost cuts it in half," said Army wife Crystal Vowell.

Bowell said that their efforts don't go unnoticed. She's even spoken with other Army wives on how to show their appreciation.

"One of my suggestions was to make banana bread or something totally off-kilter that shows our thanks," said Bowell.
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