This phrase that’s been around since the middle of the 16th century speaks louder than ever in the world we live in today. With almost 71% of students in the 2011-2012 school year who participate in the free and reduced lunch plan, the question that begs to be asked is, what happens during the summer, when school isn’t in session?
San Marcos CISD Child Nutrition Department’s Associate Director, Mike Boone started thinking outside the box and that landed him in a bus.
For a long time, the district had been hosting summer school-style lunches at various distribution locations, but Boone got to thinking about the many families that were missing out on these opportunities to enjoy a meal they may not otherwise because of their lack of transportation. These free meals weren’t exactly helpful to the families who couldn’t get to them.
So in anticipation of summer 2012, Boone bought an old school bus at a discounted rate, and had it painted purple and white, Rattler colors with fangs and graphics, to clearly identify that it was truly SMCISD.
Other than the paint job, the back rows of the bus were removed to make room for coolers and hot meal insulators. Beneath the bus, a generator was installed in order to keep the inside a few degrees cooler. By June, the bus was ready to roll.
One of the main focus points for this project would be to find where the best feeding locations to ensure that the hungry children would be able to walk to the location. An example of this would be that, “The closest feeding site to the kids in the Morningwood Mobile Home Park, would be Crockett Elementary, which is a little over 10 miles away. For a family with no transportation, how would they make that 10-mile trip every single day?” Boone asked. The answer is, they simply couldn’t.
So Morningwood became a logical stop for the purple bus to roll through and feed those who live there. Other places included Regency Mobile Home Park, Riverview Apartments, Sinai Pentecostal Church and the common area between the San Marcos Public Library and Activity Center. During the month of June, the mobile meals project served an average of 75 meals a day!
Just because school’s out for the summer doesn’t mean that children don’t deserve a healthy meal. If the kids can’t go to the meal, the meal will most certainly come to them in the San Marcos CISD.
— Katie L., Intern