Stephanie Williams, right, hands out the lunches on the bus. She works in a high school lunch room all year round and spends what could be the summer off taking her job on the road. Photo by Grant Blankenship/Georgia Public Broadcasting

Hunger Doesn’t Take a Summer Break

Addressing Food Insecurity While School Is Out

Reporting by Leah Fleming/Photos by Grant Blankenship

Georgia Public Broadcasting

Almost one million children in Georgia face going without enough to eat during the Summer months. The Bibb County School District in Macon feeds many of the 20,000 students that qualify for free or reduced lunch all Summer long.

They get the food where it needs to go on a big, yellow school bus.

The bus makes a four hour trip, five days a week to deliver 7,000 lunches. Other lunches are delivered to community centers.

Terry Freeman works to load packaged lunches onto a waiting school bus before the daily delivery of lunches by Bibb County Schools to children around Macon-Bibb. Even during summer break, the district gives children what during the school year might be the only me of the day for some of them. Photo by Grant Blankenship/Georgia Public Broadcasting

At the district’s central kitchen, workers pack the meals with the food experts say can help students retain knowledge over the Summer.

Kylie King-Cokes, 8, eats one of the tomatoes from his salad on the lunch bus. Photo by Grant Blankenship/Georgia Public Broadcasting

Stephanie Williams hands out the lunches on the bus. She has a strict “take them as they come” policy. That means bare feet, pajamas or whatever they have on.

Photo by Grant Blankenship/Georgia Public Broadcasting

If the kids Williams knows need a lunch don’t come quickly, she’ll yell for them and wait. Often kids can be seen tentatively waiting in front doors.

Stephanie Williams waves towards apartments in Jones Homes in the Bloomfield section of Macon, trying to attract children to the bus full of free lunches the Bibb County School District delivers to areas of need daily in the summer. Photo by Grant Blankenship/Georgia Public Broadcasting

The goal of the lunch bus is keeping students fed and healthy until they hit the school doors again at the end of the Summer.

Lunch bus meals vary from peanut butter and jelly sandwiches with sides of apple sauce and vegetable to green salads. Photo by Grant Blankenship/Georgia Public Broadcasting
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