Virginia families can use texting service to find free food sites during school closures

Virginia families can use texting service to find free food sites during school closures
Text "FOOD" or "COMIDA" to 877-877 for free summer meal options near you. | Source: WAVE 3 News

RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - As of April 16, it’s been four weeks since schools in Virginia have shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and No Kid Hungry Virginia is encouraging families to use a texting service to help find free food distribution sites.

Families can text FOOD or COMIDA to 877-877 to find free food sites organized by school districts and other community organizations.

All of the state’s 132 school districts are offering food programs and there are more than 900 food distribution sites run by school districts and community organizations.

“No Kid Hungry Virginia estimates that 17.8 million free and reduced meals have been missed since schools closed a month ago. The nonprofit is using the texting service as an important tool to help kids who were getting meals at school access meals at home,” a release said.

About 6,400 texts have been sent since launching on March 23.

“School districts and nutrition teams are doing heroic work to help ensure kids continue to get the nutrition they need during this crisis,” said Sarah Steely, No Kid Hungry Virginia Associate Director. “One of the most important things people can do right now is spread the word. We need to make sure families know these free meals are available and can be found using the texting line.”

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