Community Cares Day 12.15 Picture 3.jpg
Community Cares Day 12.15 Picture 2.jpg
Community Cares Day 12.15 Picture 1.jpg

The FCPS FRESH (Fauquier Reaches for Excellence in School Heath) and the FCPS School Nutrition Programs partnered to bring local organizations together for the second Community Cares Day event, held on Tuesday, Dec. 15, at Grace Miller Elementary School in Bealeton, according to a Fauquier County Public Schools news release.

The FRESH team coordinated a Grab and Go meal event, distributing milk, fruit, ground beef, and microgreens for families in need. Learning Starts Early provided puzzles, Books On the Bus provided books, and A Little Heart charity supplied warm winter coats for children and adults.

From noon until 1:30 p.m., a steady stream of vehicles passed through the bus loop at Grace Miller Elementary to the sounds of holiday music, school officials said. FRESH had set up traffic cones there, marking each of the stations where a variety of items were ready for pick-up. FRESH staff and volunteers approached each vehicle to determine the number and ages of the children in each family. At the first station, a volunteer from Learning Starts Early handed out puzzles for preschool through middle school children and books supplied by Books on the Bus.

At the next station, families received bags of fresh fruit and could request gallons or half-gallons of milk based on the number of children in the family. Airlie Berkshire Farms donated 500 pounds of ground beef for families in 2-pound packages, which were paired with microgreen herb tasting kits provided by the FRESH program. Families also received recipe suggestions for kid-friendly meals utilizing both the beef and the herbs supplied by FRESH Eats. The recipes for nachos and meatballs included tips on how to add the microgreens from Living Springs Farm.

School nutrition staff were kept busy handing out Grab and Go meals throughout the Community Cares event, distributing a total of 2,037 meals for families, according to the school division news release. At the final station, families in need could park and select winter coats donated by A Little Heart charity located in The Plains.

Debbie Diaz-Arnold, principal of Grace Miller Elementary School, was pleased to host the event at her school. “Thank you to our Fauquier County community partnerships A Little Heart, Airlie Berkshire Farms, Books on the Bus, FRESH, Learning Starts Early, and FCPS School Nutrition for the support provided to nearly 300 Grace Miller families for the holiday season with meals, warm coats, and books. This is what it looks like when we come together,” she said in the news release.

For more information about upcoming Grab and Go meal distribution dates and sites, visit the FCPS School Nutrition website. Local nonprofits interested in partnering with future Community Cares days should contact Kristen McAuliffe at 540-422-7110 or kmcauliffe@fcps1.org to learn how they can help.

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