HCS Board chairman confirms district working on alternative plan to feed students

HCS Board chairman confirms district working on alternative plan to feed students

HORRY COUNTY, S.C. (WMBF) – The leader of the Horry County School Board said the district is working on a plan to feed students after it was forced to close meal sites and distributions.

Chairman Ken Richardson confirmed to WMBF News that they’re working on an alternative way to feed students dependent on the program through an outside organization. They hope to release more details on Monday.

“This is a tragic thing we’ve had happened," said Richardson. "There’s a lot going on, and there’s a lot happening behind the scenes that people just don’t know about.”

Horry County Schools had to make the hard decision on Wednesday to temporarily close 13 grab-and-go meal sites and all bus meal pick-up locations starting on Thursday after the district said more employees had contracted the coronavirus and others had to self-quarantine as a result. The suspension is expected to last for two weeks but could go longer.

“We had to make that decision to shut everything down to protect our workers," said Richardson. "We immediately went in to trying to come up with an alternative plan.”

Just hours after that announcement was made, the community stepped up in a big way to make sure that students don’t go hungry.

RELATED: Community steps up to feed students after HCS suspends meal sites, pick-up locations

Nate Ellis, the executive director of Ekklesia Christian Church in Conway, said his church is stepping up to help feed children. The organization Help for Kids is also offering their services for Horry County students.

Any families in need of help can reach out to Ekklesia Christian Church or Help for Kids on their Facebook page or by phone. You can reach Ekklesia Christian Church at 843-443-7774 and Help for Kids at 843-651-4310.

Terry McLean, with the Capture Community Center in Loris, said they serve about 125 kids in the community every day. She added they have been flooded with calls since HCS suspended the meal program, so they are expecting an increase in kids.

Those who need meals can call the Capture Community Center, located on 4350 Spring Street in Loris, at (843) 877-1226.

Grand Strand community comes together to help struggling families

As the novel coronavirus pandemic continues to impact families across the Grand Strand, groups are coming together to provide help to those who need it most.

In recent days, a website called “You Are Loved” launched. An initiative involving Meals on Wheels, the site provides links to a number of churches across Horry County where those who are in need of temporary meals can get them.

Each church includes a form families need to fill out. It asks for such information as how many children and adults are in the household, and whether the meals can be picked up or need to be delivered.

It is a one-time meal delivery or pickup, and the form must be resubmitted each time a meal is needed.

Meals on Wheels Director Michael Tyler says their meal distribution is safe because they deliver meals in a no contact method, not a drive-through site.

The You Are Loved sites also has a link to Coastline Women’s Center. There, mothers can fill out a form requesting such infant needs as diapers, formula and wipes.

For more information or to fill out a form, click here.

Additionally, a drive-thru food distribution will take place this weekend in Surfside Beach.

The distribution will take place on Saturday, April 18, from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. at The Church of the Resurrection, located at 8901 U.S. 17 Bypass South in Surfside Beach.

Car lines will start at 7 a.m.

Food distribution flyer
Food distribution flyer (Source: Faith Outreach Ministries)

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