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Area Schools Provide Free Lunches During Blizzard Shutdown

The Blizzard of ’16 closed schools in Montgomery County and surrounding areas for a full week, but some MCPS schools were still serving their communities.

On Wednesday, the MCPS Division of Food and Nutrition Services decided to try open some schools to provide free lunches to families in communities which often rely on the MCPS Free and Reduced Price Meals Service, also know as FARMS, for nutritious meals, and may have been without a good meal for almost a week.

Two schools in the Germantown area were among the 11 in the County which opened to serve free lunches to any student and their family while schools were closed on Thursday and Friday. The free lunch program began with 10 schools, among them was Clopper Mill Elementary School on Cinnamon Drive in Germantown. Over 150 students and their families came to the school on Wednesday for a free lunch.

On Thursday, Capt. Daly Elementary School on Brandermill Drive in Germantown was also open for any student to come in for a free lunch.

Nora Dietz, the principal at Capt. Daly ES said, “I got a call from food services Wednesday, saying that they were going to open a few locations and would we be interested. I said absolutely.”

Dietz said that she was concerned about the families and students in her community because she knows how hard it is for some of the school community to make ends meet. “I have seen some grateful families today. Grateful just to have a meal.”

According to Greg Edmundson, MCPS’ director, Office of School Support and Improvement, Elementary Schools, “It is for communities that may need it more than others. The schools that are offering free lunches today are Title I schools. I think come Wednesday, (the Division of Food and Nutrition Services) thought of an opportunity to help these communities out. The good news is we are getting families from all over. I was at Cloppers Mill Elementary yesterday, and we had families from Matsunaga Elementary School, Sally Ride Elementary, and Germantown Elementary coming in for lunch. They focused on the Title I schools but looked at neighborhoods that could serve as all and opened it up to everybody. ‘Please come in and enjoy a lunch. We can help you.”