CAIRO — Free meal giveaways are set to resume next week for Grady County students, and several changes will be made to the existing formula.

Auxiliary food drop sites located throughout the county will no longer be open beginning Tuesday, April 14. All meals will have to be picked up directly from the seven school campuses across Grady County. In addition, a new food drop site at Southside Elementary School will begin to distribute meals. There had previously been no operational food drop site at Southside due to its proximity to Cairo High School.

Students should expect to receive a second work packet to take home Tuesday along with their meals. Packets will be available for pickup at school from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Teachers have been preparing the additional work assignments since late last month, when school closures were extended though late April.

Food drop sites are open for 45 minutes beginning at 10:30 a.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays. Students must be present in order to receive their meals. Each student will receive four meals on Tuesdays and six meals on Thursdays.

Parents are asked to call (229) 377-3701 if their child needs food but cannot travel to one of the sites. Adults also may purchase a breakfast and lunch for $5 cash.

More than 40,000 meals have been distributed to Grady County students since the food drop program began in mid-March. No meals were distributed this past week to account for the regularly scheduled spring break.

Grady County schools will remain closed through the end of the academic year due to the coronavirus pandemic. Superintendent Kermit Gilliard has stated that meals will continue to be offered to students “as long as it is safe.”

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