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Nearly 41,500 Pasco County students, or about 54 percent of the total, receive free and reduced-price meals during the school year.
For many, it’s their main source of nutrition.
After gaining permission from the state and federal government, the school district has worked out plans to ensure that children under 18 get fed in the days they would have been in classes if the coronavirus had not extended spring break.
Beginning Monday, March 23, seven Pasco County schools will have pre-packaged breakfasts and lunches available for any children who come to pick them up. The service will start at 11 a.m. and run to 1 p.m. daily through March 27.
No applications are needed, but the children must be present to receive the food. They do not have to attend the public schools to be eligible.
The program is similar to one offered during the summer break. Pinellas and Hillsborough counties are among those that have established similar arrangements.
If the time off is lengthened, Pasco district officials will look at future steps.
“Everything that we do is with a little asterisk, in case it changes,” district spokesman Steve Hegarty said, noting the fast-moving pace of news and directives related to the spreading pandemic.
Pasco free meal stations for kids:
All sites will be open 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on March 23-27. The service is drive-thru.
- Crews Lake Middle School — 15144 Shady Hills Road, Spring Hill [MAP]
- Fivay High School — 12115 Chicago Avenue, Hudson [MAP]
- Gulf Middle School — 6419 Louisiana Avenue, New Port Richey [MAP]
- New River Elementary School — 4710 River Glen Boulevard, Wesley Chapel [MAP]
- Pasco High School — 36850 State Road 52, Dade City [MAP]
- Sunray Elementary School — 4815 Sunray Drive, Holiday [MAP]
- Zephyrhills High School — 6335 12th Street, Zephyrhills [MAP]
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Tampa Bay Times coronavirus guide
Q&A: The latest and all your questions answered.
EVENT CANCELLATIONS: Get the latest updates on events planned in the Tampa Bay area in the coming weeks.
PROTECT YOURSELF: Household cleaners can kill the virus on most surfaces, including your phone screen.
BE PREPARED: Guidelines for essentials to keep in your home should you have to stay inside.
STOCK UP YOUR PANTRY: Foods that should always be in your kitchen, for emergencies and everyday life.
FACE MASKS: They offer some protection, but studies debate their effectiveness.
WORKPLACE RISK: A list of five things employers could be doing to help curb the spread of the disease.
READER BEWARE: Look out for bad information as false claims are spreading online.
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