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Baltimore mayor told students at closed schools to go to rec centers to eat. But, some facilities don’t have food for lunch.

With Baltimore City schools closed for a second day amid cold temperatures, Mayor Catherine Pugh directed students to the city’s recreation centers to eat.

But several recreation centers contacted by the Baltimore Sun as lunch time approached Friday said they did not have food and expected only to be serving meals later in the day. (Baltimore Sun video)

With Baltimore City schools closed for a second day amid cold temperatures, Mayor Catherine Pugh directed students to the city's recreation centers to eat.

Typically, school students are guaranteed free breakfast and lunch and many families rely on the food provided at school.

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But several recreation centers contacted by the Baltimore Sun as lunch time approached Friday said they did not have food and expected only to be serving meals later in the day.

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Robert Wall, the official who oversees recreation centers in the city's parks department, said he had "absolutely not" heard of any issues with the food deliveries. Officials were working on providing students with pizza and juice for lunch.

But at the centers themselves there appeared to be confusion about what food they would have to offer.

Antonio Jones, the director of the Bentalou center in West Baltimore, said he had snacks left over from yesterday and expected a usual delivery of food for an after school program to be delivered "a little earlier."

Staff at other centers said food would be available later in the afternoon.

Asked about food for children out of school, an employee at the Collington Square center said: "Are we supposed to be getting some?"

The woman, who said she wasn't allowed to give her name to the media, called back a few minutes later to say she was going to pick it up.

Food is reaching some of the centers. An employee at Curtis Bay, who also wouldn't give their name, said city workers had dropped off pizzas.

Four centers are closed entirely because they are attached to city schools that don't have any heat, the Parks and Recreation Department said.

Baltimore schools have had to return millions in state funding for building repairs after projects to fix failing heating systems and roofs grew too expensive or took too long.

Activists posted on social media that they were also hearing of problems with food deliveries.

Amanda Smith, a spokeswoman for Pugh, said food was being delivered and that snacks had been available for breakfast.

Pugh directed the centers to open between 10 a.m. and 9 p.m. when schools were closed Thursday and told them to stay open the same hours Friday.

"The City of Baltimore and Food Bank will be providing snacks and food today to City Schools students at recreation centers," the mayor's office said in a statement.

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Roni Marsh, a spokeswoman for the parks department, said some centers would continue to be open for extended hours into the weekend.

The Baltimore Teachers Union is urging the city to close down all schools until officials get a handle on heating problems that have already closed some buildings and left children shivering in others. (Kim Hairston, Ulysses Muñoz / Baltimore Sun video)

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