NC governor announces texting tool to help school families locate free meal sites

NC governor announces texting tool to help school families locate free meal sites
North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper announced the food assistance program for families on Friday. (Takaaki Iwabu/Raleigh News & Observer/Tribune News Service via Getty Images)

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper on Friday announced a program for parents who need food assistance for their children.

Parents 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.

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After entering their address, parents will receive a text with the locations and serving times for nearby pickup 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.

Parents can also call 211 to speak with an operator who will help them locate meal sites in their community. The 211 service is available 24 hours a day, seven 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.

School sites and community organizations providing food are experiencing a high demand for services and rely on dedicated volunteers to provide meals. The North Carolina departments of Health and Human Services and Public Instruction are encouraging people who are not at high risk for severe illness associated with COVID-19 to sign up to volunteer to prepare meals. Those interested in volunteering should call their local school district office, community organization or visit