Roughly 80 volunteers sign up
As COVID-19 shut down schools across the country, many people’s attention turned to the well-being of the roughly 50 million public school students in the United States.
In Baldwin County, the community most certainly responded. Roughly 80 volunteers showed up Tuesday morning at Baldwin High’s cafeteria, ready to assist the district in delivering meals to students, many of whom strongly rely on their school breakfasts and lunches.
“My first though was the children,” said Gloria Brooks, who volunteered along with her husband David. “It’s the least we can do. I don’t think that a lot of folks realize how important these meals are.”
By 11 that morning, the cars were beginning to pull into the different drive-up sites – Wray Homes/Boddie projects, the Mary Vinson Memorial Library, the Collins P. Lee Center and Midway Hills Academy. The county’s school bus drivers, meanwhile, did most of the heavy lifting, delivering mobile meals to roughly three dozen different sites, some closer to the county line and some closer to the middle of town.
Fortunately, the BCSD already had plenty of practice.
“It’s based on the procedures that we always use during the summer,” said Susan Nelson, district nutrition director. “We have an amazing team, and thanks to them, the rollout has been amazing.”
The mobile meal sites for example, mimicked many of the same routes as the school district’s summertime program. The number of routes were doubled, however.
Although not all students in the Baldwin County School District qualify for free or reduced lunch, the district is a “free lunch district,” meaning that enough students meet the poverty threshold to make breakfast and lunch free for all students.