(press release) – To assist children and families with food while schools are closed, meals will be prepared at select school cafeterias in Hamilton County Schools for food pickup, and school buses will deliver food to areas where families can’t get to a school location. At schools and bus stop locations, Meals are provided free to all children age 18 and under. Families do not need to provide proof of school enrollment, income, or free/reduced lunch eligibility. Children must be present to receive the meals.
Bus delivery of meals is a new option starting Monday, March 23, to reach more children and families, and buses will run Monday, Wednesday, and Friday of each week. The buses will run elementary and special education bus routes the drivers would run during a typical school day. The routes will still allow the meals to reach all grade levels. Buses will not run on the regular routes for Thrasher Elementary School. However, Thrasher is a pickup site, and parents and children interested in finding a bus stop to get food on those routes can find the nearest Nolan Elementary bus stop and use that as a pickup location.
To find the stop closest to you, use our Bus Stop Finder. If A parent can’t find a stop close to their home, please call the transportation hotline at 498-5555. School district transportation personnel can help with locating a stop. Parents can enter their home address without selecting a school, and the system will display the nearest stop to the home location. Safety will continue to be a priority for the HCS Transportation Department, so if a stop is on a multi-lane highway, the bus will pull into the nearest plaza or parking lot for food distribution.
It is not possible to initially determine exact times for buses to be at the various stops because we do not know how many people will be at the individual stops and how long it will take to distribute food. The routes and stops will become more regular after a few days of making deliveries.
The buses will begin routes at 11 a.m. and will run on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday each week while schools are closed. The packages will include enough food to cover the days the buses are not making deliveries.
The school locations will be open Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. for food pickup only.
School Locations by Learning Community
- Orchard Knob Elementary
- East Lake Elementary
- East Side Elementary
- Wallace A Smith Elementary
- Wolftever Creek Elementary
- East Brainerd Elementary
- Spring Creek Elementary
- Hixson Elementary
- Soddy Elementary
- Brown Academy
- Red Bank Elementary
- Thrasher Elementary
The school locations and bus route deliveries of food will continue on the schedule listed in this information during the duration of time that schools remain closed or until the district provides an update.
Hamilton County Schools appreciates the support of our bus transportation service provider First Student, independent bus contractors, school nutrition workers, transportation personnel, and the many community volunteers helping to make this effort possible.
If you would like to volunteer to help provide food to the community, please visit the volunteer signup at https://signup.com/go/qAFejoq.