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December 09, 2023

Governor announces texting tool to access food for children

Free or reduced price eligible families can text FOODNC to 877-877 to find nearby meal sites

March 27, 2020

Governor Roy Cooper announced today that parents who need food assistance for their children can text FOODNC to 877-877 to locate nearby free meal sites. The texting service is also available in Spanish by texting COMIDA to 877-877.

After entering their address, parents will receive a text with the location and serving times for nearby pick-up and drive-thru free meal sites while schools are closed. Sites have been set up across the state for families with children ages 18 and younger, including preschool children, who rely on free and reduced-price meals at school.

“School closings mean no meals for some of our most vulnerable children. Now families have an easier way to find food during these times of financial stress,” Governor Cooper said.

Parents can also call 2-1-1 to speak with an operator who will help them locate meal sites in their community. The 2-1-1 service is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Services are provided in English, Spanish and many other languages.

Additionally, No Kid Hungry has created a map of local school sites, community organizations and food assistance programs across North Carolina where families can access food. The interactive map can be viewed at and is updated daily.

The Governor’s North Carolina COVID-19 Education and Nutrition Working Group, co-chaired by the NC Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) and the NC Department of Public Instruction (NCDPI), worked in partnership with state and community organizations such as No Kid Hungry to set up the texting program.

School sites and community organizations providing food are experiencing a high demand for services and rely on dedicated volunteers to provide meals. NCDHHS and NCDPI ask that people who are not at high-risk for severe illness associated with COVID-19 sign up to volunteer to prepare meals. Those interested in volunteering should call their local school district office, community organization or visit

For more information and additional guidance on regulations and recommendations related to the health threat from COVID-19, please visit the NCDHHS website at and CDC’s website at

For several days now, Alexander County Schools has been distributing meals at seven local schools.

This began Tuesday, March 17, and will run through at least Monday, March 30.

Any child ages birth to 18 years will be eligible for meals. The meals will be available weekdays, 10 AM – 1 PM, through Monday, March 30, at the seven locations listed below:

• Alexander Central High School
• East Alexander Middle Sch.
• Hiddenite Elementary
• Stony Point Elementary
• Taylorsville Elementary
• West Alexander Middle Sch.
• Wittenburg Elementary

Alexander County Schools is providing the meals. The school system established a “grab & go” style student meal, encouraging those picking up the meals to remain at the pick-up table to reduce the potential transmission of the Coronavirus. Any child ages birth to 18 years will be eligible for meals. Unlike the summer feeding program, the federal government provided a waiver that allows parents to pick up the meals to take home to their children.

The locations are determined by the USDA guidelines for eligibility. Additional information and details regarding the student meal program provided by ACS Child Nutrition Department will be posted on the school sytem website as the staff work to refine the process.

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