Friday, January 31 2014, 06:46 PM EST
Where to Eat on a Snow Day?
Most would think because of the snow days, the 17 Youth and Family Development centers in Chattanooga would be overflowing with students. But they are not.
"It's the same," said Ronald Drake, the facility manager at East Chattanooga's Development Center. "We have the same kids, whether it snows, or schools out or in, just different times."
There are close to 43,000 students in Hamilton county, and more than half of those students get free or reduced lunches. If they are hungry and need a place to eat, these development centers are prepared, everyday, not just on snow days.
"We do have several centers that are working with the Chattanooga Food Bank, that offer food programs during the week and throughout the school year," said Brian Smith, the Public Relations Coordinator for Chattanooga's Development Centers. "But in a case like this, when school is out, there is food available if a child is hungry, or in need. We're not going to turn away any children."
The local Boys and Girls Clubs agree, they are not seeing an increase in children coming in because of the snow days. They are stocked with the necessary items, and are prepared to handle an extreme influx if needed, just like the development centers.
"A lot of our centers have kitchens, and some food that's prepared, snacks on any given day. But on any sort of extreme circumstance we're always going to be prepared and sometimes we have to run to the grocery store ourselves," said Smith.
There are 7 development centers in Chattanooga that have been identified as high-risk, where they believe close to 70 percent of the students are deemed hungry.
These centers work with the food bank on a weekly basis, making sure there is enough food for all of the students that come by after school each week.