Wythe County Board of Supervisors Approve Funding Request to Provide Free Meals to All Public School Students Throughout Upcoming School Year
At their regularly scheduled meeting this past Tuesday evening, the Wythe County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to allocate an initial $250,000 allotment to Wythe County Public Schools. The purpose of this funding is to address food insecurities that may exist due to the COVID-19 economic downturn. The money is made possible thanks to the county’s federal allotment of special funding known as CARES (The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act) passed by both houses of Congress and signed by the President in March 2020.
School Board officials say the funds will be put towards feeding Wythe County Public Schools students who do not already qualify for free meals, both breakfast and lunch, every day during the 2020-2021 school year. School officials say the funding will provide county families some peace of mind that while school is in session, their child’s nutritional needs will be met during breakfast and lunch.
Though the initiative is only for the upcoming school year, county officials say they feel that offering the free meals will provide an added measure of relief to hundreds of county families who may be suffering during these challenging economic times. Virginia’s current seasonally adjusted unemployment rate is 8.0%, compared to 2.7% in July of last year.
“It goes without saying that these are stressful times for parents. With everything else going on in the world today, we felt that by providing the necessary funding for this program, we could alleviate one additional worry many families are facing as well as ensure no Wythe County student goes hungry,” said Wythe County Board of Supervisors Chairman Brian W. Vaught.
“The Wythe County School Board would like to thank the Wythe County Board of Supervisors for their willingness to participate in this collaborative effort to address food insecurities of students in Wythe County,” said Mr. Chalmer Frye, chair of the Wythe County School Board, adding, “Your partnership is greatly appreciated, and your support of our entire WCPS school community is truly valued.”