Free Meals for Students During School Closures

Coronavirus concerns force schools to shut their doors

March 14, 2020
Students in Cafeteria

Credit: monkeybusinessimages


Centers of Hope Afterschool Program

Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms announced Saturday that the Centers of Hope afterschool program will continue to provide free meals to all students who rely on them, as schools close because of the coronavirus health threat.

Mayor Bottoms said in a statement “Atlanta's children must continue to receive the food and proper nutrition they need regardless of current events."  Bottoms added “In these times, nothing is more important than the health and well-being of our residents—especially those who face challenges on a day-to-day basis.”

Currently, the City of Atlanta’s Centers of Hope Afterschool Meal Program provides dinner and a healthy snack to Atlanta’s students between the ages 5 – 18. Beginning Monday, March 16, 2020 the program will run on a modified schedule allowing students to receive meals between 4:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Locations for meal sites include the following City of Atlanta Recreation Centers:

  • Adams Park Recreation Center
  • CT Martin Recreation & Aquatic Center
  • Anthony Flanagan Memorial Recreation Center
  • Bessie Branham Recreation Center
  • Coan Park Recreation Center
  • Dunbar Recreation Center
  • Grant Park Recreation Center
  • Grove Park Recreation Center
  • James Orange Recreation Center
  • Martin Luther King, Jr. Recreation & Aquatic Center
  • Arthur Langford Recreation Center
  • Peachtree Hills Recreation Center
  • Perkerson Park Recreation Center
  • Pittman Park Recreation Center
  • Rosel Fann Recreation Center
  • C. A. Scott Recreation Center
  • South Bend Recreation Center
  • Thomasville Recreation Center
  • William Walker Recreation Center

The meal program, according to the statement, is the latest policy initiated by Mayor Bottoms to assist Atlantans during the coronavirus health threat. Earlier this week, Mayor Bottoms issued an Administrative Order directing the Commissioner of Watershed Management to refrain from taking any action which would result in the termination of water services for any Watershed Management customer due to non-payment for the next sixty (60) days.

For more information on the Centers of Hope Afterschool Program and Registration, please visit the Official Website.

Atlanta Public Schools

Beginning Monday, all Atlanta Public School students can receive free bagged meals daily.  The meals will be at five school sites that the district says will be open for food distribution from 10 a.m. through noon, Monday through Friday.

The distribution sites are at Douglass High School, Cleveland Avenue Elementary School, Bunche Middle School, Sylvan Middle School, and Phoenix Academy.

Schools across the metro have announced closures due to the Coronavirus outbreak. There are 42 cases of the virus in Georgia, with one death.  

Here is additional information from APS:

Beginning Monday, March 16, 2020, APS partner, GOODR, will provide ready to eat meals at the following local community sites:

Hosea Williams Feed The Hungry (4779 Mindy St. Atlanta, GA. 30366)
Food Pantry - Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday
10 a.m. - Noon
Bring ID and Social Security Card

Loaves and Fishes @ St.John the Wonderworker Parish (543 Cherokee Ave., SE Atlanta, GA. 30312)
Serves food Monday - Friday
9:00 a.m. - 10:00 a.m.

Beginning Monday, March 23, 2020, all APS families can report to one of the 5 open APS school sites Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. - Nooon. to receive a bag of shelf stable grocery items from the Atlanta Community Food Bank. 

Visit this link for more information

Fulton County Schools

Meals, including breakfast and hot lunches will be available for students beginning Monday, March 16. Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays are the days that famililes can pick up the meals. The distribution time is from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

The meals can be picked up in Sandy Springs at Lake Forest Elementary. Meals can also be picked up at Banneker High School, Haynes Bridge Middle School, Langston Hughes High School, Mimosa Elementary School, and Tri-Cities High School.

Visit this link for more information.

DeKalb County Schools

Meals will be provided to students daily starting Monday, March 16. A bag lunch and snack will be provided to all DCSD students from 10:00 a.m. to noon at various campuses in the district.

The meals can be picked up at Sequoyah Middle School in Doraville and Cross Keys High School in Brookhaven. Additional campuses providing meals include Bethune Middle School, Chapel Hill Middle School, Clarkston High School, Idlewood Elementary, Lithonia High School, and McNair Middle School.

Visit for more information.