Teamwork keeps students fed during the Coronavirus pandemic


TAYLOR COUNTY—Taylor County Schools led by Donette Nines, Child Nutrition Director and volunteer bus drivers, cooks, aides, teachers, central office staff, board and community members delivered 18,950 meals to our students during the first two weeks of school closure due to the COVID-19 virus.
Mrs. Nines put together a meal plan and secured necessary containers and packing items for drive thru on March 16th switching to delivery on Tuesday, March 17th for the students of Taylor County Schools. She collaborated with North Central Community Action to make sure their sites at Webster and Lucretia were included as well.
Pat Tucker, board president wanted to say, “Thank you, Taylor County Schools, you stepped up and took on a challenge never experienced before and proved who you really are through teamwork.”
The plan Mrs. Nines put together not only involved the planning and packing of the meals, but how they would be delivered. She worked with Todd Bolyard, Transportation Director to determine the best way to make sure the maximum number of students would be served.
Bus drivers volunteered to begin driving on Tuesday from the various schools pulling out each day at 10 a.m.
Instructional aides and teachers rode busses to assist in passing out breakfasts and lunches daily Tuesday thru Friday.
Mr. Tucker added, “Our drivers were remarkable as they delivered the meals and greeted the students at the stops.”
During this time, it was decided to go to one delivery the following week to cut down on the possible exposure to our drivers and others preparing and assisting in delivery. It was also decided we could no longer provide the necessary volunteer manpower to continue operating one day a week.
Mrs. Pam Gallaher, Assistant Superintendent and Mrs. Jenny McCarthy, Director of Attendance, Homebound, Safety and Truancy kept the volunteers organized, working in small groups to pack the 4000 meals delivered Tuesday, March 24th.  
“The cooks, aides, bus drivers and volunteers were the backbone of success for this program and we could not have accomplished what we did without each and every one of them,” echoed Mrs. Miller, Superintendent.  “Thanking them seems so small, but it truly was an atmosphere of teamwork and a commitment to our students that made it possible.”
Mrs. Nines is now collaborating with Project Hope to make sure students still have access to necessary nutrition. This collaboration will allow the school system to supply the food for students through donations and ordering necessary supplies.
Project Hope will have six drive thru sites beginning Tuesday, March 31st from 11 – 1 at the following locations: Project Hope, Family Resource Network, Senior Center, Black Bear Customs parking lot, Flemington Elementary and the gravel lot by Twin Oaks at Tygart Estates.
The backpack program will continue as well as long as they are able at the drive thru sites one day per week.
There will be additional days added and announced throughout the week based on numbers participating through School Messenger, Taylor County Board website and social media sites as well as all school sites.
Taylor County Schools is committed to continue to support the nutritional needs of our students. Mr. Tucker wanted to add, “Great Job each of the staff for supporting our students in Taylor County!!”

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