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Parents grateful for student meals given out by Lee County school district

Even though schools aren’t in session, Lee County wants to make sure students don’t go hungry. Parents and students picked up meals thanks to the grab-and-go program. And it’s a big weight off the shoulders for some families.

We visited Tropic Isles Elementary School in North Fort Myers Monday, where parents of students say the meal program during the coronavirus pandemic is a big help.

Tropic Isles is among 24 schools in Lee County giving meals to families of students. We spoke with dozens of parents during one of the grab-and-go events, who are all grateful for the items after some say grocery stores don’t have enough right now.

“We got milk and their little snack packs, ham and cheese sandwich, carrots ranch,” Deandera Martin said.

Martin said trying to feed her five kids right now is difficult.

“My husband isn’t working because of the virus, so we’re really thankful,” Martin said.

They are thankful that, even though school is out, the School District of Lee County is still feeding kids through its grab-and-go lunch program.

“All they do is come through, stay in their car and let us know how many children they have with them in the car,” said Rob Spicker, the media relations and public information manager with the District.

Michele Cousineau lined up early Monday morning. She says empty grocery store shelves have left her and her family searching for food.

“I can’t get any supplies,” Cousineau said. “I can’t even get a loaf of bread.”

Cathy Nau says she can’t go to the grocery store.

“I have compromised lungs, so I don’t need to be out trying to fight the grocery store, so this is a real blessing,” Nau said.

We learned the District fed 3,5000 students Monday at the nearly 40 locations around Lee County to get the grab-and-go meals.

“We know that there are so many students that rely on their school to give breakfast in the morning and lunch in the afternoon that that need is out there,” Spicker said.

To practice safety against spread of coronavirus and other illness, everyone handing out meals at schools wear face masks and gloves.

“I’m going to try and get it as much as possible, so that they can eat,” Cousineau said. “And it’s less pressure on us trying to feed them every day.”

Reporter:Brea Hollingsworth
Writer:Jack Lowenstein
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