John B Dey Elementary staff put together winter meal bags for students

Virginia Beach

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — School may be on winter break, but the need for food never takes a holiday.

Cafeteria workers at John B Dey Elementary School in Virginia Beach started handing out winter meal bags to students Monday.

4,500 bags, to be exact.

It might not look like the Santa’s workshop you’d want, what with Santa and the Grinch working side by side, but for some parents in Virginia Beach, it’s what they need.

“Virginia Beach Public Schools food service is doing something we call our winter bag,” said Debbie Cathey, with Virginia Beach Public Schools.

But it’s not just lunch.

“We gave them a menu, and they preordered these bags, and these will feed the children breakfast, lunch, and dinner from the time that we are out on Christmas break,” Cathey said.

For some families facing financial hardship this holiday season, it’s a necessity, and at John B Dey Elementary School, they’re filling a need.

“Sometimes they have no idea where their next meal is coming from, so this is just a little bit to take off the stress,” Cathey said.

And what a stressful year it’s been for some.

With Beach schools returning to virtual learning, it’s also one less thing parents have to worry about.

“These parents are so appreciative. It’s also one thing they don’t need to somewhat worry about because they’re trying to help their children learn virtually. So this is one burden we’ve taken off of them,” Cathey said.

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