100K Meals Campaign: Henrico County Schools working hard to feed students in need

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CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — The 100,000 Meals Campaign is underway and thanks to you, we are seeing the meals come in. But we are a long way from our goal.

The need for meals is being addressed in our schools, but you might be surprised to learn it’s more than just lunch. There are strict guidelines for nutrition that have to be met.

“Of the total population in Henrico County, over four in ten children are food insecure,” said Peggy Gordon, Director of Nutrition Services for Henrico County Schools

“That’s an unbelievable amount!” said 8News Meteorologist Matt DiNardo after hearing those numbers. “I’ll give you another number: 53,000 children in Central Virginia do not know where their next meal is coming from.”

Henrico County Schools are working hard to help feed the kids.

“Many years ago, it was just a lunch program and they reached children that were coming to school,” Gordon said. “They have expanded it to feed breakfast to children. But we also do afternoon snacks, we do supper programs, we have summer programs.”

Robin Robins, Assistant Director of School Nutrition for Henrico County, said they’re serving over 500 meals in the two schools that have dinner programs. 

“We are expanding the dinner program next year — one in the middle school and one in an elementary school,” Robins said. “And they are fairly large schools, so it is going to double the amount of kids that we reach. That is what we are here for.”

While these meals are being provided, it’s all about proper nutrition to the students.

Jamie Holubar, a Registered Dietician for Henrico County Schools said they have specific guidelines that meet each grade group. 

“We have lots of options,” Holubar told 8News. “It’s not just this or that; they have five options for breakfast and lunch.”

“We are really providing them with a lot of good nutrition options because they are eating a lot of meals with us at school,” Holubar added.  

RELATED: 100K Meals Campaign: Help 8News and Puritan Cleaners feed kids in need

You can help out the 100K Meals Campaign by dropping off food or money at any Puritan Cleaners location until May 4.

8News is also having a friendly competition between the morning news team and evening news team to see who can raise the most donations.  

If you want to support the morning team, tap or click here. If you want to support the evening team, tap or click here.

A $10 donation gives a child 40 meals. 

Find 8News on TwitterFacebook, and Instagram; send your news tips to iReport8@wric.com.

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