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Indian River County rolling out mobile feeding stations for students amid coronavirus closure

Posted at 5:38 PM, Mar 16, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-16 21:06:48-04

VERO BEACH, Fla. — With kids out of school for the foreseeable future, it may be harder for some of them to get nutritious meals.

School districts are stepping up to fill the void, and in Indian River County, the food is coming to them.

MORE: Palm Beach County, Treasure Coast schools offering meals during closure | Latest news on coronavirus

The horn blares through the Grace Woods neighborhood south of Vero Beach. Slowly at first, people look to see if it's a school bus. Once they realize its a mobile cafe, many kids come outside.

Debbie Johnson and Khawndice Colley work in food service for the Indian River County School District. Their mission these next two weeks is to make sure kids are fed.

“It’s very important that they have their lunch and their breakfast,” said Colley.

This bus is one of three the school district is running in the county, making 12 stops throughout.

“I feel an obligation, and no matter what, we want to see the kids fed," said Johnson.

These mobile cafes are part of the summer feeding program, but with the coronavirus situation, they have been pressed into service a little early.

Scott Simpson, the principal at Osceola Magnet School, wants to make sure his families know about the service, and what other agencies can help if it’s a challenge to get kids to the sites.

“We’ll have families that were fine prior to this were perfectly fine but think about the tourism industry, restaurants etc," said Simpson.

“This program is helping out a whole lot," said grandmother Stacey Butler.

“There’s a lot of people going through hard times right now, spending all their money on toilet paper, water. With all the madness going on, it’s a blessing," said Kathy Martin, as she cradled a newborn.

If you'd like the schedule of feeding sites, you can see them here.