It’s sort of the reverse of students getting lunch at school. Now, the schools are getting lunch to the students while they’re at home.
On Monday, employees of Kaufman Independent School District, with some assistance from volunteers at Kaufman Church of Christ, delivered about 1,500 lunches to students who live along school bus routes.
Next week, the schools will start bringing breakfast and lunch to all students. Most deliveries take place from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Twelve buses, four school vans and one truck delivered the meals on Monday.
Children received a corn dog, apple, carrot sticks and chocolate or regular milk, said Linda Emory, a lunch employee who went on Monday’s deliveries to verify the number of children at each home. Children don’t have to be registered in school, or even residents of the district, to receive the meals, said Patrick Cardoza, the school’s transportation director.
“We will deliver what’s needed,” he said.
Children do have to be visible to school staff on the buses, and a member of the family has to come out to pick up the meals.
Thomas Earwood, who has been driving buses for the district for four years, wielded his bus, Number 25, through a winding route of country roads along FM 2727 and 429, including homes near College Mound. He knew where all of the kids on his route live, and which were probably staying with grandparents right now.
Children were excited to see the bus, with many of them putting on their parents’ boots or whatever was handy to run through their yards to get their sack lunches. After delivering two lunches to one house, Earwood wound down the road and did a tight turn to deliver lunches to homes on the other side of the road. A women came back out and asked if she could have another four lunches for her grandchildren, and Cordoza handed out the additional meals.
To make sure the buses stay clean, Cardoza and his staff use a Victory electrostatic cleaner on the buses once a week. The machine sprays a mist throughout the vehicles that combines a cleaning tablet and water, Cardoza explained.
“It gets into the nooks and crannies,” he said. The cleaning lasts for a week, so all buses and district vehicles are being cleaned every Friday, he added.
Breakfasts are currently available for pickup from 8 to 9 a.m. weekdays at Kaufman High School.
Students do not need to qualify for free or reduced lunch to receive a meal, and lunches are being brought to all students who ride the morning buses to school. Meal requests can be made for any children through an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. The district needs the parents’ names, students’ names and address.