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Communities in Schools to host food distribution event Tuesday morning

Communities in Schools of Troup County plans to host its sixth food distribution event Tuesday morning.

More than 1,000 boxes filled with meat, dairy and produce items will be passed out for free at Whitesville Road Elementary School at 10 a.m. for anyone in need.

CIS Executive Director Tabitha Lewis-Coverson said that Tuesday’s distribution event will total more than 6,000 boxes of food given out to families in need during the pandemic.

“We have a partnership with a few organizations that has allowed us to be able to give out so much food to families in our community,” Lewis-Coverson said. “Before the pandemic even started, we were providing food to families from our own food pantry. The need increased tremendously once the pandemic hit far beyond what we could supply.”

With CIS partners, they can feed a family of four for a week with the food boxes that have been donated.

“A lot of times people think that if they see someone unemployed then they are receiving unemployment or SNAP benefits but that is not always the case,” Lewis-Coverson said. “We are also not only helping our students and their families but also the elderly population because a lot of them can’t make it to the grocery store.”

She added CIS has also partnered with several churches and Meals on Wheels to get food to homes where someone can’t leave to go to the grocery store.

“What we are doing is important because yes sometimes it’s easier to go out and get junk food, but that’s not what our bodies need,” Lewis-Coverson said. “Growing kids and adults need the nutrients and mix of foods that we have in our boxes for a healthy body and mind. With these boxes, they can prepare a home-cooked meal for their families instead of grabbing fast food.”

Lewis-Coverson said they have seen a mix of families come through the line over the past six months.

“We have seen a lot of adults come through but that doesn’t necessarily mean they don’t have children because all of our drives have been at 10 a.m. during a school day,” Lewis-Coverson said. “But we do see families coming in with the kids in the car. We know those are typically families who are virtual. We have had on occasion them come through with everything they own in their car or van, so we know that is their home. There are different levels of needs in this community.”

Some students in the school system are also sent home with boxes for families who cannot make it to the food distribution due to work or transportation. If needed, [parents can put in a request through the school’s CIS site coordinator.

“There is a growing need in this community for families who need food,” Lewis-Coverson said. “It might not seem like a lot, but the people that come through let us know how grateful they are for, and how much it has helped them to eat. It can help a family make it to the end of the week, month or to the next paycheck.”