Bus drivers deliver breakfast, lunch to students in Santa Rosa County amid school closures

Coronavirus

MILTON, Fla. (WKRG) — The spread of COVID-19 may have caused schools across the country to close, but in Santa Rosa County — lunch is still in session.

Santa Rosa County School District food service provider Sodexo and transportation service Student Transportation of American have partnered to deliver breakfast and lunch to students across the county.

Sodexo general manager Leslie Bell said the two companies collaborated to determine areas where food was needed the most.

“We need to feed these kids, especially during these difficult times,” Bell said. “Nutrition is what they need. Comforting is what they need.”

Delivery services and curbside services offered at 10 schools across the county are open to any student younger than 18. Students who have special needs are eligible if they are younger than 21.

Breakfast often consists of cereal and milk and lunch is a wrapped sandwich, among other food items. It changes daily.

Deborah Kosmas, who has been a bus driver for 13years, drives a route through the East Milton community.

Kosmas is a cancer and stroke survivor, so she said she worries her pre-existing conditions could make her more susceptible to contracting COVID-19. However, she said she’d do anything to make sure the students don’t go hungry.

“I’ve been nervous, but it gives you a thrill bringing these kids food,” Kosmas said. “They’re so excited to see us.”

That excitement is what keeps Kosmas delivering the food.

“It’s like Christmas Day. It really is. They’re out there. They’re lost,” she said. “We’re in the country out here, so they’re seeing that bus come and somebody cares. Somebody cares.”

More than 9,000 meals have been given out in a week using the curbside and delivery programs. Bell said the program will run until at least May 1 and could run through the summer.

Here’s a list of schools offering curbside pick-up for both breakfast and lunch from 9:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.:

— Milton High School/ Bus ramp on Raymond Hobbs Lane
— Pea Ridge Elementary/ Parent pick up lane
— East Milton Elementary/ Bus ramp in front of school
— Jay Elementary/ in front of high school
— Berryhill Elementary/ parent pick up lane
— Holley Navarre Primary/ Parent pick up
— TR Jackson Elementary/ Parent pick up
— Central School/ Parent pick up
— Bagdad Elementary/ bus ramp area
— Benny Russell Elementary/ Parent pick up

Find a full list of feeding stops here:

https://www.santarosa.k12.fl.us/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/FeedingStopsDuringSchoolClosures.pdf

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