Since March, Miami-Dade public schools have provided an estimated 2.9 million meals to students and their families.
That number is growing because the need is constant.
“It tells me well before the crisis they were in crisis already. It didn’t take COVID-19 to throw them into a crisis,” said Miami-Dade Schools Superintendent Alberto Carvalho in reference to the numbers.
Before the pandemic, more than 70 percent of the student body was on free and reduced lunches. The financial toll of the pandemic is surely making things worse.
“This is not anything I could have ever imagined having to do," said Miami Beach Nautilus Middle School Assistant Principal Alyssa Eskin’Rosenblatt. She is one of many educators rolling up her sleeves to help hand out food at school distributions.
The distributions happen every Tuesday and Friday between 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. Similar to the ones across the country, people drive up and pick up.
The vehicles helps maintain social distancing, but many parents don’t have vehicles so there’s a walking line too.
“Considering what our families are going through, it’s the least we can do,” said Nautilus Middle School Principal Rene Bellmas.
He could be behind-the-scenes because he has a lot of administrative work on his plate as schools are operating virtually. However, Bellmas wants to be a helping hand, like the many other educators stepping way from their conventional roles to meet the need during the pandemic.