Planning for the 2020 Washington Court House City Schools’ summer food service program is underway and the district is inviting representatives from across the county who are interested in joining the program to an informational meeting.
In just 53 days, the “Big Blue Bus” served 20,796 meals to children ages 0 to 18 in the community this past summer. Along with a hot meal, children also received educational enrichment each day, which included a traveling library, volunteer teacher interaction and Chrome book STEM activities.
The funding for the meal and employees was provided in full by the United States Department of Agriculture. Additionally, local business, churches and organizations provided the funds necessary to convert an old school bus into the mobile kitchen, making the Big Blue Bus possible without any cost to the local taxpayer.
“Without the help of our many local stakeholders, such as SugarCreek,” Trevor Patton, director of marketing and communications, said, “this program would not have been possible. Because of their belief in our dream, we were able to feed over 20,000 meals to kids in our community, and we could not be more thankful of their support.”
At the launch of the program, the Big Blue Bus had four daily stops across town, but soon expanded to cover The Well’s summer programming, as well as two locations in Jeffersonville.
“Soon after the Big Blue Bus hit the road,” Patton said, “we began to receive phone calls from other agencies and communities across the county asking if we could include their entity in our program.”
“We knew that child hunger was a major issue in our community, but after I got a call from the mayor of Jeffersonville and other community leaders, we realized just how vital this program is for our county.”
According to the USDA, one in six children are food insecure in the state of Ohio.
With the success of the Big Blue Bus expansion to Jeffersonville, as well as the outpour of interest from other communities in the county, WCHCS is preparing ways to expand the program for additional children across Fayette County without using school funds.
“We are very proud of the success of this program in its first year,” said Patton, “but we realize there’s a lot more work to be done in our community. We are determined to feeds as many kids in our county as possible while continuing to cost the local taxpayers nothing.”
“We need any organization, church, or community representative that is interested in being a host site for the Big Blue Bus to come to this meeting so that we can accurately prepare for this summer’s program and services,” he said.
The informational meeting will take place on Tuesday, Jan. 14 2020 at 6:30 p.m. at the WCHCS Central Office. Any entity that wishes to have the Big Blue Bus stop at their location must be present to participate in 2020.
For more information, call the Central Office at 740-335-6620 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.