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Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) has provided more than one-third of a million meals since the COVID-19 crisis led Gov. Northam on March 23 to shutter classrooms for the duration of the academic year.

The school system’s Office of Food and Nutrition Services as of April 14 had provided more than 357,000 meals, including breakfasts and lunches, at 61 areas locations, said schools spokesman Lucy Caldwell.

FCPS is providing food along 13 bus routes and at 32 sites offering curbside food pickup. Another four facilities serve mainly walk-up clientele, and there also are 12 pop-up locations for food service, including schools, community centers, a mobile-home park and an apartment complex, she said.

Several school sites and bus routes throughout the county have been serving 500 to 1,000 people per day, Caldwell said.

FCPS food-service workers supporting the emergency food distribution are receiving overtime pay and taking extra precautions during the pandemic.

The Office of Food and Nutrition services is following the school system’s employee-health questionnaire daily, with managers inquiring about employees’ condition before work commences.

“At our production facilities and our warehouse, we are implementing daily employee temperature monitoring this week, in addition to the employee-health questionnaire,” Caldwell said. “We have enhanced cleaning instructions for staff and [provided] hand sanitizer in kitchens and at meal-distribution sites.”

Food-service workers practice “social distancing” while preparing and serving meals, and the school system has arranged for two shifts, where needed, to avoid having more than 10 employees at a site during any one period, Caldwell said. The school system has provided tie-on masks for employees, but some have created their own, she added.

FCPS also has created several training resources for staff, including a detailed PowerPoint and instructional video, and given employees resources from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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