The show, as they say, must go on and that is certainly the case for the Lunch Box bus program which distributes meals to hungry children in numerous locations rural Tennessee on weekdays while school is closed for the summer.
During these times of the coronavirus pandemic which is ravaging our country, Rev. Sheldon Livesay, director of our partner in the small town of Rogersville, Of One Accord, explained that this year, at least initially, they will have to make some changes to how the program will operate.
In years past, the buses, which stop at several locations such as low-income housing complexes, mobile home parks, and community centers, children would get on the specially-outfitted retired school buses and eat their lunches seated together in a cafeteria-style setting.
However, because of COVID-19, out of an abundance of caution, for at least the first 30 days of the program which begins on June 1, volunteers will be providing the children with bag lunches to eat at home.
“Probably by the first of July safety restrictions from the coronavirus should be relaxed enough to let the children board the bus without fear,” Rev. Livesay told us.
We have been relieved to learn that so far there has only had one active quarantined case in the county.
“We are always anxious for the summer feeding program to start, but a little apprehensive at the same time,” says Rev. Livesay. “Children of low-income families get shuffled around due to summer custody because of divorces.
“Sites are chosen based on numbers of children during the school year, so we pray numbers will be good at each site.
“Of One Accord will be listening closely to possible increased safety guidelines this year and complying with each request from our state and health department. They have been working really hard keeping us informed.”
Thanks to the supporters of Americans Helping Americans, for the past several years we have been able to provide Of One Accord with funding to help ensure the wheels of the buses keep rolling, and the bellies of hungry children are kept full with nutritious food which includes sandwiches, fresh fruit such as apples and oranges, and wholesome milk.
And to our supporters, Rev. Livesay says:
“We are so appreciative of Americans Helping Americans and the great work you are doing.”