Mike and Cristy Thomas

Mike and Cristy Thomas are working to make sure any students without food during school closures are being fed. 

Wild Slice Pizza owners Mike and Cristy Thomas are on a mission to feed local school children who are now without food due to school closings. 

With all public schools in Georgia closed, one of many concerns is the children of local schools who rely on the county meal program for breakfast and lunch five days a week.

That’s when the Thomases had an idea. Mike and Cristy Thomas, a special needs kindergarten teacher at Esther Jackson Elementary, combined their skill sets to come up with an idea that would address two very important concerns of buying a gift card to generate revenue and feed students without access to school lunches.

The Thomases created the School Meal Program where residents can purchase gift cards to participating restaurants and donate the value to the program. The restaurant prepares healthy meal options based on the amount of gift cards purchased. Volunteers pick up the meals and distribute them to the students in need.

“I made a few phone calls and sent a few emails and got tremendous feedback,” Mike Thomas said. “Starting today, we encourage our community to review the list of participating local restaurants and consider purchasing a gift card. Let them know this purchase is allocated to the School Meal Program and with one click or one phone call, you can help both causes."

So far, Esther Jackson and Vickery Mill elementary schools participating in the program.

“Our hope is that the idea will spread and more restaurants and schools will adopt the program," Thomas said. “We developed the details of the program to be easily applied to other schools."

The following restaurants are participating so far: 

  • Gracious Plenty (call 678-878-3105 and request purchase be applied to SCHOOL MEALS)
  • Big Oak Tavern (call 678-271-0455 and request purchase be applied to SCHOOL MEALS)
  • Pure Taqueria (puretaqueria.com and type SCHOOL MEALS in notes section)
  • From the Earth Brewing (www.ftebrewing.com/shop type SCHOOL MEALS in notes section)
  • Taqueria Tsunami (call 770-993-1530 and request purchase be applied to SCHOOL MEALS)

Schools or restaurants interested in learning more can email Thomas at miket30075@gmail.com. For up to date information regarding the School Meal Program – search and join the Facebook Public group School Meal Program https://www.facebook.com/groups/1877389055726259/?ref=share. 

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