Pair of food distribution sites set up at school district sites

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Two food distribution programs involving Rome school district sites are being established this week in reaction to the COVID-19/coronavirus situation.

• The district will continue to operate two food pantries in conjunction with the Rome Alliance for Education and Connected Community Schools, said Superintendent Peter C. Blake.

The pantries, at Gansevoort and Staley elementary schools, are hoping to be in operation beginning Wednesday from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. and will be on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, said Connected Community Schools (CCS) Executive Director Melissa Roys today. They are open to any member of the public, she added.

Staff will have minimal contact with families, and food exchanges will place at doorway locations, according to a CCS announcement.

The program will assess whether another site needs to be established at Stokes Elementary School, said Roys. That school is in the Town of Lee, in the district’s northern section.

The majority of food for the pantries is purchased through the Central New York Food Bank, and donations are accepted, Roys said. If people would like to donate, said Blake, they are asked to contact Roys or the Rome Alliance for Education through Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/RomeAFE/ .

Roys also said families will be given a flyer with phone numbers to call for further assistance with individual issues they may be encountering. One of the numbers is 315-982-2520.

• A school district food service “Grab & Go” program will provide free breakfast and lunch to all district students, beginning Thursday from 10:30 a..m.-noon. and running on Mondays through Fridays.

The locations include each of the district’s seven elementary schools, according to a district announcement. Strough Middle School and Rome Free Academy students are asked to go to the closest elementary school site.

The program will be on a first-come, first-served basis. Students will receive that day’s lunch and the next day’s breakfast.

If a student or family member is feeling ill, the district asks that they stay home.

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