With school out, free lunches offered to Danville Public Schools students

Schools closed all week because of snowstorm

By Colter Anstaett - Reporter

DANVILLE, Va. - No school all week in Danville meant some kids may not have gotten enough to eat.

On Friday, the school district did something about that, offering bag lunches at Gibson Elementary School to any Danville Public Schools student who wanted one.

Danville Public Schools nutrition director Phillip Gardner said food for around 2,000 students was prepared early Friday morning.

"They get a vegetable, they get a fruit, they get a meat or meat alternate, and then they get the milk," Gardner said.

This was not something that was planned before the snowstorm.

 "Nobody knew we were going to be out this long. Later in the week, we decided this may be a good idea," Gardner said.

Bobby Scearce Jr., 11, and his 13-year-old sister, Courtney Lowe, agree.

"PB&J or the hot meal," Bobby said when asked what his favorite school meal is.

"Peanut butter and jelly," Courtney said when asked what she was going to have for lunch.

"You see a smile on (the student's) face, that's what drives us at the end of the day," Gardner said.

On Thursday, Bonner Middle School Principal Kim Agnor, other school staff members, and members of Union Church in Danville filled 2,000 plastic grocery bags full of food and distributed them to students throughout the city.

Some of the food the teachers purchased, the rest was donated by the church.

"It started out as a pretty simple group text yesterday morning," Agnor said. "One of our teachers...came up with, 'What's happening with our children? I'm concerned.'"

Union Church senior pastor Adam Cook said he didn't hesitate to offer the church's help.

"Any time there's a need in the community, especially with our school system and children, we jump on the need," Cook said.

A move that will hopefully help students be better prepared to jump back into the classroom Monday.

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