Greenville County schools move toward mobile meals, e-learning following school closures


GREENVILLE, S.C. (WSPA)–Schools across the state have been closed for the time being by order of the governor. Those working in education are still helping their students.

At AJ Whittenberg Elementary they gave out dozens of breakfasts and lunches today as parents used a drive-thru method to pick them up. The whole Greenville County School District pivoting this weekend to support students from afar.

Sandwiches, snacks, and a drink are on the menu.

“Some kids may not eat outside of school so hopefully we can get the word out there and we can get more kids coming in,” cafeteria manager Jesse Swinyer said.

Swinyer and his team are handing out breakfast and lunch to students.

“As a cafeteria staff we fed like 400 kids a day and so we see those smiling faces every morning,” Swinyer said.

He says it can provide a sense of normalcy.

“Everything we’re serving them they get during the school day throughout the week so it’s just that sense of routine,” Swinyer said.

District director of media relations Tim Waller says it’s important to support students and parents.

“We knew during the two week shut down that families would still rely on a breakfast and lunch every day,” Waller said.

He says there was some notice this was coming.

“A plan was in place to a large degree but there is still a learning curve,” Waller said.

Students will now move to e-learning and teachers are preparing lesson plans.

“They’re prepared to prepare to put together another two weeks in case this two week shut down is extended,” Waller said.

Any students who did not bring their Chromebooks home over the weekend will be able to pick them up on Wednesday and Thursday.

As far as staff goes, the district is taking it day by day.

“It’s a major inconvenience for parents who have to look for daycare and for teachers who also have children and need day care and after care as well,” Waller said.

As far as providing food, Swinyer says at least this can be one thing parents don’t have to worry about.

“Schools have food we got you at least five days a week two meals a day we got you,” Swinyer said.

Starting on Thursday parents will be able to pick up both breakfast and lunch at the same time during the lunch hour.

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