Roanoke city schools announce when meal pickup, deliveries will resume

The district outlines its plans after there were mixed reactions to their decision Monday to halt deliveries

ROANOKE, Va. – Roanoke city families found out on Tuesday night how long they will have to wait to get more meals from the school district.

There were mixed reactions when school leaders announced on Monday that they were suspending deliveries.

District officials told 10 News Tuesday night that they were concerned they wouldn’t have enough volunteers because some were worried about delivering food in person after the governor’s stay-at-home order was announced.

School board members met Tuesday afternoon to go over potential new plans. Here’s what they decided:

  • The next chance for pickup will be Friday (April 3). Click here for a list of Friday’s pickup locations and times.
  • Deliveries will start up again Wednesday of next week (April 8).
  • There will be fewer bus routes for food delivery.
  • The scaled-back schedule may end up being three days a week (Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays).
  • Families would get two days worth of meals at a time.

Superintendent Dr. Rita Bishop said they’re working on getting more volunteers.

“This is very important to us, and these are trying times, and we want to make certain our students receive the proper nutrition during the crisis," Bishop said.

Many parents went to one of the four pickup sites during the two-hour window on Tuesday.

Some have been critical of the decision not to deliver.

“That is very sad because I know some of those kids depend upon those lunches. Shame on the city. They should be embarrassed,” a person commented on the 10 News Facebook page.

Everyone 10 News talked to Tuesday was grateful they could still access the meals.

“(Driving to pick them up) is a minor inconvenience, but I know that they’re trying their hardest to work with it,” parent Anna Thomas said.

Some say it’s not a problem to drive over -- they feel lucky they can -- but they’re worried many families won’t be able to.

“I’m also really sad to think that there are a lot of families that aren’t getting the food that they need right now,” parent Catie Foster said.

School officials say they gave out around 3,000 meals Tuesday, far fewer than the nearly 17,000 they delivered Monday.

The Governor has asked that anybody that needs help call 211.

All other local school districts that 10 News spoke to Tuesday are keeping the same food delivery plans they already had in place. Those districts include Roanoke County, Salem, Montgomery County, Lynchburg and Bedford.

Roanoke city school lunch pickup (WSLS)