With classes canceled, Vermont schools rally to feed students


School buses were lined up at Colchester High School on Thursday, but the students were nowhere to be found. Instead, the school district is using the buses to deliver meals to students and their families.

With the coronavirus outbreak closing schools across the state, local districts have sprung into action to make sure children who rely on school-based meal programs do not go hungry.

“As the superintendent of schools, right now there are several components to this closure plan that I am working on,” said Colchester School District Superintendent Amy Minor. “The most important part of this plan for me is making sure that our kids do not have food insecurity. So that has been our top priority in planning. And it means a lot to me to know that our students will not go hungry during this time,”

David Eaton, of the district’s special-education transportation program, said the work keeps peospirits up during a difficult time. “It’s heart provoking to see everybody that wants to help,” he said.

“I’m 73 years old and I’ve seen different things at different times in this country, but nothing like this, nothing like this.”

But with other districts around the state trying to feed students, food and supplies are beginning to run low. Minor said there will be challenges as time goes by. “Some items are starting to become back ordered, and we’re starting to be growingly concerned that that will continue,” she said.

“We really started to feel the pressure with our vendors yesterday,” she asid. “And we now need to start that plan for what are we going to do next.”

The district also has set up five pop up locations where families can pick up food if they are not along one of the bus routes.

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