While the Clinton City Schools system was forced to close due to the coronavirus pandemic, the district has provided meals for its students.
And Clinton City Schools Athletic Director E.T. Stamey has been key to the meal distribution, which is publicly funded and gets a hand from community volunteers, while also receiving assistance from Faith Promise Church.
The program has prepared and given away more than 55,000 meals since schools in Tennessee closed their doors in March, at the distribution points at North Clinton and South Clinton elementary schools.
The program will end on June 30 according to Stamey, but students may continue to eat for free beginning in the first week of July at Clinton Elementary School.
“After June 30, the kids can come in and eat at Clinton Elementary School and they can do that until school starts (that’s scheduled for) the second week of August,” Stamey said. “The parents can come in and eat with their kids.
“I think a parent has to come in with the kids.”
The importance of proper nutrition is a factor in the program, but Stamey said that it means much more for teachers, school administrators and students.
“When the parents drive up with their kids, we have some teachers and principals there,” he said. “I’m there and I get to see the kids and they get to see me. I get to see that they’re doing all right.
“The teachers and the principals get to see the kids and the kids get to see them and it’s great for everybody.”
While meal distribution and organization of the program consume weekday mornings for Stamey, the Clinton Blaze athletics program and the student-athletes are never far from his mind.
“I’ll be involved with the food program until we go back to school,” he said. “And right now, I’m calling our athletes and making sure that they’re staying active and that they have something to eat. And I’m working on our basketball schedule. I’m talking to a couple of new schools about playing us. Basketball, cross country and swimming are all going to start when we come back to school, and we’re looking at having a basketball camp soon.”