A pair of local schools are continuing to expand their work beyond the classroom.
North East and Bay View elementary schools are still hosting the alternating Maryland Food Bank food distribution which is now entering its third year.
And with Cecil County Public Schools now reaching a 45 percent average of free and reduced meals, the need is greater than ever.
"We are reaching a ton of families," said Lisa Lowe, principal at North East Elementary. "We see a lot of the same faces every month but we are seeing new people too. It's now difficult to find a parking spot in our parent pick up loop."
The two schools give away an average of 7,500 pounds of food each month. There is nearly always fresh produce. Staff provides recipes for items which may be new to families. Last month, 486 people received food including 95 seniors, 217 adults, and 174 children. "It's rare that it's not good stuff
The distribution is overseen by social workers Kim Chiominto and Alexis Frazier. It is manned by volunteers including students from North East Middle School's National Junior Honor Society. At times, athletes from Cecil College and the University of Delaware also volunteer.
Lowe said in addition to the food, the schools have also worked to add extras on distribution days.
One month, there were dental screenings. A parenting advocate came to offer resources to mothers to be. There have also been clothing swap items offered and book swaps for both adults and children.
The food distribution days are set for the remainder of the school year:
January 26 at Bay View, February 23 at North East, March 23 at Bay View, April 27 at North East, May 25 at Bay View, and June 8 at North East.
Doors are open from 4-6 p.m. No identification is required, there are no forms to fill out, and there are no income requirements. Bring a box if you have one. Those manning the distribution will ask for a cell phone number and the number of people being helped. The phone number in is the event of a product recall.