Grab and Go Meals for Everyone!


There has always been a sort of stigma around the Grab-and-Go lunch program. Some people tend to associate it with “the needy.” However, that is not the case at all with this awesome program. This program was made for ALL students. It wasn’t just to help the students in need, but to help everyone. There are lots of people who benefit from the lunch program. First, it puts the bus drivers back in work and back to getting paid. It benefits school cooks in the same way. So not only does it help students, but it helps the workers as well.

As of March 22, Fauquier county started an operation called Grab-and-Go. Grab-and-Go is how they distributed lunches to kids in need. The operation lasted all summer until August. In August, the school board started to change things up a bit. They made it available to all people instead of only people who are on free and reduced lunch. Free meals are available to any Fauquier County child between ages 2 and 18 because of a recent U.S. Department of Agriculture decision enabling school divisions to offer free meals to children through Dec. 31. Hot meals are now available for pickup Monday through Friday at 16 Fauquier County schools. Pre-packaged meal bundles, comprised of five breakfasts and five lunches, are now available to pick up via a drive-thru service at nine schools on Tuesdays and Thursdays and Brumfield Elementary School on Saturday mornings.

The eleven schools are Brumfield Elementary, Coleman Elementary, Pearson Elementary, Claude Thompson Elementary, Mary Walter Elementary, Auburn Middle, Cedar Lee Middle, Marshall Middle, Warrenton Middle, Fauquier High, and Liberty High. Fauquier County Public Schools are also offering 66 locations where buses will deliver meal bundles on Tuesday mornings, the buses will wait for between five to twenty minutes.

Our cafeteria manager at Liberty High School is Ms. Sherri Henning. She helps with the grab-and-go lunches.

“Grab and go meals are packs that consist of breakfast and lunch entrees, fruit and or veggies, juice, and milk. This program is being Federally funded, so no money is being taken from the schools and everyone from 2 years to 18 years old is eligible. When we go back to school, in-school students will be able to get breakfast and lunch from the cafeteria on the days that they attend. These students will also be able to take a grab and go pack for the days that they are not in school. Virtual students can still pick up a pack for the week like we are doing now. For children with allergies, we don’t have access to that information.  The parent or guardian would have the info for their child and evaluate the food items. We hand out 7-day meal bundles meaning that there are enough meals (breakfast and lunch) for one week. Therefore a parent or guardian only needs to pick up one bundle per child for a week, the child does not have to be with them.” said cafeteria manager Ms. Sherri Henning.

The difference between the Grab-and-Go program and the free and reduced lunch is, Grab-and-Go is for everyone. The free and reduced lunches are only for families with lower incomes. Grab-and-go lunches are pre-made for all students that are registered and of the age of 2-18, and you can pick up the bagged lunches any day ounce a week. As of right now, the grab-and-go lunches are going to continue, and students can pick-up breakfast and lunch in the cafeteria.

“It is amazing that all families, regardless of financial status, can benefit from such an amazing program! With the increase in food prices at grocery stores, it helps that families can save money. Every penny saved counts!” said parent Nicole Kerns.

The Grab-and-Go lunch program is a free program for everyone. It not only helps students but it also helps the lunch staff and bus drivers. The program is federally funded, so the schools don’t lose any money. All you have to do is register children from 2 to 18 and show up either at school or at one of the local bus stops.