Wayne Township families receive meals from bus drivers during school shutdown

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — School districts across Central Indiana are ensuring no child is left hungry during this time of uncertainty.

In Wayne Township, a team of transportation and child nutrition leaders delivered meals to more than 1,000 bus stops across the district. Staff have been working all weekend to prepare nearly 20,000 breakfast and lunches, along with serving meals at the school entrances.

“We’re here to serve our families and make sure that our students have access to meals while school is out, and we’re committed to meeting that mission,” said Sara Gasiorowski, the Director of Child Nutrition for Wayne Township, “We’ve had a lot of sleepless nights and very long days since Thursday when we started this planning at ground zero.”

Community members also joined in the efforts by dropping off coolers.

“Our managers and staff began on Saturday morning, everything is cold, so it’s packed in coolers on the bus and iced down to make sure for temperature control,” said Gasiorowski.

Bus driver Theresa Blake calls this a big deal.

“I’m just glad we are getting the opportunity to actually do this. I mean, to help whoever needs help and it’s actually helping us also. With us not being able to work and do what we do every day, to actually come here and do this,” said Blake.

It’s an effort that’s not going unnoticed by families.

“It really does help out with what we have at home, it’s a subsidy of some type for us, easily. It’s really a great thing that’s happening,” said Dan Akers.

Close to 80 percent of students are qualified for free or reduced lunch in the district. Gasiorowski says during times like this, they’re here to help every child.

“Our district is on a program called community eligibility where all children receive breakfast and lunch at no charge,” said Gasiorowski.

These efforts will continue throughout the week. Although the district is set to resume classes on April 6, Superintendent Jeff Butts said the district is prepared to continue their efforts after spring break, if necessary.

“These are uncharted territories for us, and we know this is a unique circumstance, this is our first time every attempting this and so far, so good. We’re getting out, we’ve re-routed all of our buses and stopped at over 1,000 locations to make sure transportation and safe walking routes are not a barrier to our children getting healthy meals,” said Superintendent Butts.

For more information on MSD Wayne Pandemic Response Plan, click here.

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