Meals will not be distributed to students in the Vinton County Local School District through the food distribution sites, officials say.

After the statewide “stay at home” mandate was issued over the weekend, the Vinton County Local School District announced a change in plans for students.

Beginning March 24, there will be no staff, certified or classified, in any of the district’s buildings. This order, a result of the March 22 “stay at home” mandate announced by Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine, will continue until further notice.

“Per the Governor’s order, which went into effect at 11:59 p.m. tonight (March 23), we will refrain from putting district families, employees, and the community at risk,” the statement said. “Therefore, today is the last day food will be distributed by the district until other plans can be made. The food given today should last multiple days.”

According to the Vinton County School District’s website, roughly 84 percent of students in the district are classified as “economically disadvantaged.” In addition, according to data from Feeding America, a national organization that focuses on hunger relief, an estimated 15.8 percent of individuals in Vinton County experience food insecurity, slightly higher than the state average of 15.1 percent.

Food insecurity is a term defined as having difficulty accessing reliable sources of affordable and nutritious foods.

Feeding America reports that Vinton County also has a child food insecurity rate of 25.8 percent, significantly higher than the state average of 20.3 percent.

Originally, the school district had food distribution sites in place: one at Vinton County Middle School, one at the Zaleski Fire Department, one at West Elementary, one at the Wilkesville Community building and one at South Elementary. Hot meals were initially distributed to students, but then the district switched to cold foods.

Procedures for academics didn’t see changes from original announcements made by the district.

  • Students in grades K-2 receive a hard copy packet of resources with grade-level books
  • State testing grades 3-8 log into building/district approved software programs using their own devices or Chromebooks provided by the district
  • Students in high school use computer software and/or packets assigned by individual content teachers

“Teachers will continue to provide educational resources from their homes,” the statement said. “Teachers should be contacting parents and students through phone calls, emails, and any other resources available, but will have no personal contact with students and/or parents.”

Updates about school procedures will come in the form of School Messenger, the Vinton County Local School District’s website and school social media pages.

sdawes@vintoncourier.com; @sydneydawes_95

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