PARKERSBURG, W.Va. (WTAP)- UPDATE: 3-1-18 7:00 PM:
Another day without school means another day without lunches for some students. But area churches, teachers and organizations continue to do what they can to make sure empty classrooms don't mean empty stomachs.
The Mount Pleasant United Methodist Church in Mineral Wells started offering hot lunch for students who need fed as teacher walk outs continue. The lunch is served from 11-1 p.m.
Typically on Fridays the church gives weekend meals to 84 school kids who are part of their "Sak Pak program. With the walk outs, they've asked parents to come by and pick up the packs, and had teachers out delivering to families who couldn't come in.
They say this week's bags had food for about six days as opposed to the usual two day weekend supply.
Sherry Hinton says, "It's a little chaotic because, we're not knowing day to day whether we're serving lunch or whether the teachers are going back, so we try to plan a day ahead just to make sure. And if they go back and we have food, then we'll put it to use somewhere else.”
Hinton adds “I just received a message from one of our families that has already picked up their bags today and it’s a struggle this week for them, and they've got three kids."
They say the church will continue offering hot lunch until the walkout is over.
Churches and teachers are making sure children that rely on school meals are not forgotten during the teacher strikes in West Virginia.
Mt. Pleasant United Methodist Church in Mineral Wells will serve free hot lunches for Mineral Wells Elementary School students from 11 A.M. to 1 P.M. on each day of the teacher strike.
Liberty Street Church is helping through its ministry called Escape Student Ministries. It's providing lunches from 11am to 2 pm.
Escape is working alongside Homeland Community Church to pack and hand out lunches.
McKinley Elementary School teachers are also providing snacks and meals. They are working with St. Andrews United Methodist Church to get and provide healthy meals from 11am to 1pm.
Marley Jolly, a teacher at McKinley Elementary, explains "So as a staff we are very concerned about meeting our student’s physical needs as well as their emotional and educational needs. So I think this just kind of came out of our passion for that."
Eric Tucker, Director of Escape Student Ministries, shares why they are giving out lunches. "Some of these families budget for 'Well we are going to feed our kids in the evening but money to feed them during the day is just not an option. So we are just trying to help out a little bit. We support our teachers 100% and we just want to do what we can do while they are out doing what they need to do."
Both groups say they'll keep this up as long as the strike continues.
Mt. Pleasant United Methodist Church
62 Turkey Foot Rd, Mineral Wells, WV 26150
Free Lunches 11 A.M. to 1 P.M. for Mineral Wells Elementary students
St. Andrew's United Methodist Church
1210 20th St, Parkersburg, WV 26101
Free Lunches 11 A.M. to 1 P.M.
Escape Student Ministries
1404 13th Street, Parkersburg, WV 26101
Free Lunches Noon-2 P.M.