McDonald’s restaurants in Iredell County have started offering school age children free meals around lunchtime, but that doesn’t mean the franchises are immune to some of the other anxieties they are facing during the pandemic.
Melissa Neader, who along with her husband Mike Neader own multiple McDonald’s locations in Iredell County, explained the decision was made to start offering free lunches during the school closure period after she saw other restaurants doing the same.
“It’s not just us,” she said in a phone interview Tuesday morning. “It’s (McDonald’s) owners and operators across the southeast partnering with schools and communities to offer additional support.”
From 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday, children 12 and under, accompanied by a parent/guardian, can choose between a plain hamburger, cheeseburger or four-piece chicken nugget, along with a yogurt, pack of sliced apples or small fry.
Schools in Iredell County are offering similar options for free lunches after being forced to close last week by Gov. Roy Cooper’s order in reaction to the growing number of cases of the coronavirus. The first presumptive case of COVID-19 was reported in Iredell County Monday.
Neader said McDonald’s locations under her supervision closed their dining areas on Monday. People can still come in, order and pay from the counter, just not eat inside the building.