MARTIN COUNTY, Fla. — Millions of children in the United States are not getting the food they need and rely on meals at school.
In Martin County, the Food and Nutrition Services building in Stuart is small, but now more than ever it's providing the nutrition and fuel for students to flourish.
"Our main goal is to nourish students so that they are successful," said Laura Holmedal, director of Food & Nutrition Services.
Because of the Coronavirus, Holmedal says the need for free meals has increased by five percent this school year over last year.
On Tuesday, the school district opened three curbside feeding sites for students participating in remote learning.
"Right now we're doing the National School Lunch Program, which means you must be enrolled in the school district and you must have a 4300 number, or ID," Holmedal said. "We do ask people for remote learning to fill out a form that's online so that we can accurately count and prepare for you to have your meals ready."
Parents can go to martinschools.org to fill out the form. Just click on the Food Services button in the middle of the page.
Parents with students enrolled in the district can pick up free, reduced or priced meals every Tuesday from 3-4 p.m. at J.D. Parker Elementary, Port Salerno Elementary and Warfield Elementary School. Just bring your child's ID with you.
"Families that complete the form, whatever meals they complete on that form, will be available for them to pick up for the week," said Laurie Gaylord, the Martin County Superintendent.
Students who decided to head back into the classroom are also being served breakfast and lunch.
"We have social distancing where we purchased 30 kiosks and these kiosks are outside, so we are doing a lot more outdoor feeding," Holmedal said. "We've also been doing a lot of training on hand washing and food temperature controls, so we've been very proactive."
The district says it may add additional pick up locations at more schools and extend the pickup time if there is a need. The district is also partnering with the United Way to help families that may not drive and be able to pick up the meals.