School buses deliver meals to West Carroll students
ATWOOD, Tenn. — Closing school might sound like a dream come true for some students, but in West Tennessee, many families rely on school meals to feed their kids.
When West Carroll Junior/Senior High School closed two weeks ago, school officials realized they needed to step up and help students outside the classroom.
“We know that if our kids don’t get school lunches, a lot of them may not get food at all, so it was a goal of ours to get food out to all of our students,” said Dexter Williams, Superintendent of West Carroll Special Schools.
The most effective way to do that? Delivery, straight to them.
At the staging ground at West Carroll Junior/Senior High School, volunteers pack the lunches.
“Today, we’re making 4,650 meals. Breakfast and lunch,” said Janet Winchester, School Nutrition Director for West Carroll Special Schools. “Our ladies are working approximately six to seven days a week since this has started. They’re working anywhere from four to ten hours a day.”
Then, they help load up the buses, and deliver those meals to more than 900 students across the district.
“Each driver takes their own particular route,” said bus driver James Mealer. “Because they know their own kids. They know where the stops was so that helps a lot.”
“We can feed anybody. 18 years or younger. They don’t have to be a student of ours,” Williams said.
It takes each bus around an hour to deliver to all their stops.
“Two a week. We do them on Monday, then we do it again, I think it’s Thursday. We give them enough food for three days at a time,” Mealer said.
In spite of all the uncertainty, everyone at the school remains positive, thanks to their efforts.
“Cafeteria staff, food nutrition supervisor, and all these volunteers, they’re working their tails off every day,” Williams said.
“Teachers inside the building, and all the staff, have done a tremendous job on putting this together,” Mealer said.
Everyone involved in the process has their temperature checked before they can start packing and sorting.