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Schools Provide Meals for Thanksgiving, Winter Breaks

Cary Elementary
John B. Cary Elementary School in Richmond. (Photo: Crixell Matthews/VPM)

Local school districts are adjusting their meal distribution plans for the holidays. While meal distribution sites will not open during Richmond’s holiday breaks, families can still receive meals from the district ahead of time.

For Thanksgiving, Richmond schools are providing extra meals on Monday and Tuesday to cover the remainder of the week, when schools will be closed. 

For the winter break, which spans two weeks from December 21 to January 1, RPS will provide 5-day meal packs ahead of time, which will include five breakfasts and five lunches. Families in need can order meals for one week or for the entire break.

These orders can be placed online, over the phone or in person at the meal pick-up locations. RPS Superintendent Jason Kamras says the meal packs will be heavy, and therefore they won’t be available by school bus delivery -- only by curbside pickup.

RPS families have until November 30 to order meals for winter break. 

“We are really about, as our motto says, to teach with love and lead with love, and serve with love, and part of that means taking care of our students and families for whatever they need. Food is probably at the top of that list,” Kamras said.

In Chesterfield, schools have handed out meals on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. This week, curbside meals pickup will be available to CCPS families in need on Tuesday. That meal pickup will provide food for the rest of the week, through Sunday, November 29.

Over the winter break, CCPS will continue its meal distribution through curbside pick up on Mondays and Wednesdays. Meal pickup will not be available on Christmas Day and New Years’ Day, both of which fall on Fridays.

Henrico schools will suspend its meal distribution services Wednesday through Friday for Thanksgiving break. The district will resume its five-day curbside pickup and school bus deliveries on Monday. 

HCPS says a meal distribution schedule has not been determined yet for winter break.

Other Free Thanksgiving Meals

There are other options in the region for people who need free meals this year.

  • The Giving Heart will provide to-go Thanksgiving meals on Thursday, Nov. 26. Meals can be picked up hot in the Richmond Convention Center from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. People looking to maintain social distance can reserve cold meals to be picked up curbside.
  • Ms. Girlee’s Kitchen, 4809 Parker St., is partnering with Community 50/50 to provide take away meals from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. at Ms. Girlee’s Kitchen.
  • Branch’s Baptist Church, 3400 Broad Rock Blvd., will provide pick-up and delivered dinner Nov. 26 from noon to 6 p.m.  No registration is needed to pick-up food at the church.
  • St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, 815 E Grace St., is providing bagged lunches on Thursday from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
  • Hope Christian Ministries and Willing Wednesdays Outreach Ministry will serve a Thanksgiving meal at 6 p.m. Wednesday in the alley at the corner of Foushee Street and Grace Street.
  • Diversity Richmond, 1407 Sherwood Ave., is partnering with Black Pride RVA and the Laughing Gull Foundation to provide a hot meal drive-thru Thursday from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.

We will continue to update this list through Wednesday. If you know of any meals we’ve missed, email [email protected].