FRANKLIN COUNTY, Ohio (WCMH) — It’s a plan Groveport-Madison Schools’ superintendent says they’ve been working on for two weeks.
They have launched their grab and go meal service at several locations throughout four different cities.
Before meals were handed out, Groveport-Madison teachers met to go over the game plan they will execute for the next three weeks.
One company, Petermann Bus, made the decision to pay the district’s bus drivers who are temporarily out of work.
“At this point, we intend to take care of our people,” said Barak Wells, who is the regional manager for Petermann Bus.
Each Groveport-Madison bus driver will be paid based on their regular hours worked which means their paychecks should look normal.
“I had the faith to believe that our company was going to come through for us,” said Shirley Whightsle, who has been a bus driver for nearly 40 years.
Bus driver Judith Moore said, “I was grateful, very grateful.”
Lynettia Bruner said she was “relieved.”
While feeling relieved, Bruner thinks about the students she took to school and the parents who may need a little help feeding their kids during this time.
“[For] some kids coming to school, this is the only meals that they may be receiving through the days,” said Bruner. “So, definitely I was going to help regardless, yes or no, if we were going to get paid or not. If they needed a volunteer, I was willing to help.”
She volunteered to drive a bus with free grab and go meals to one of several locations for the district.
These bags have today’s lunch and tomorrow’s breakfast inside and parents say it was needed.
“I was caught off guard,” said one parent Jeremy Clingerman. “My wife happens to be sick today. She was originally going to be staying at home with them. I’m just lucky in a position where I can work from home, but we were not prepared for doing lunches at home today.”
The district spokesperson said they have handed out 519 meals on the first day, but added they expect to hand out more meals in the coming days.
“This is a godsend right now because it at least gives us a day to get ready,” said Clingerman.
Most parents drove with their kids, others walked to the locations.
Many said they understand this and more is necessary to try and limit the spread of COVID-19, and recognize it is time to check and make sure our neighbors have what they need as well.
“I’m able you know to be at home and to assist others,” said parent Sabrina Goshay. “So, as I was just telling the volunteers that I can bring a couple of kids from my neighborhood who might need a ride because I understand doesn’t have the same opportunities that I have to be able to stay home.”