By Jennifer Marlowe
As we all navigate this uncharted situation COVID-19 has created, many school-age children in our community are worried about some of their basic needs. Never fear, the lunch ladies are here! On a normal school day, these hard-working ladies come in long before anyone else to ensure our students have a nourishing breakfast. So it is no surprise when the Bladen County Schools feeding sites opened Monday and numerous children called the ladies at Clarkton School of Discovery, they made plans to deploy food to children who had no way of getting to the school. Mrs. Melony Edwards and Jackie Cox said, “When the children called us, there was no way we weren’t going to do everything possible to get food to them.” Mrs. Cox is also a bus driver and knows many of the students do not have transportation. They depend on that bus ride to school each day and the breakfast and lunch provided.
As CSD staff pulled together to help serve at the site, Melony and Jackie allowed me to tag along on Wednesday’s delivery; an experience I won’t soon forget. Ms. Jackie beeped the horn to announce our arrival and the kids came running out to greet us with smiles, thank-yous, and appreciation. They knew they weren’t forgotten, for the lunch ladies had come to their rescue.
These ladies deserve more than a thank you and more than a “job well done”. They are the heartbeat of each school and the literal hand that feeds our youth. Keep up the great work ladies! You are priceless and irreplaceable.
Bladen County Schools is currently offering breakfast and lunch around the county. The feed sites are:
● Bladenboro Middle
● Clarkton School of Discovery
● Elizabethtown Middle
● East Arcadia
● West Bladen
● Tarheel Middle
● Bladen Lakes
Bladen County Schools is working to develop delivery locations for students in high need areas, as well as identify students without transportation to the feed sites. Many of the sites will begin deploying buses to deliver food to those in need beginning Monday.
Bladen County Churches have also offered their vehicles and services to help deliver food for Bladen County Schools. Below are photos of church members in action.
According to Bladen County Schools the following churches are helping with delivery: Bethlehem UMC, Bladen Baptist Association, Bladenboro First Baptist, First Baptist Church Clarkton, Foundation Bible, Galeed Baptist, Hickory Grove Baptist, Lake Church, St. Thomas AME, Tar Heel Baptist, and Wesley’s Chapel UMC.
The feeding sites at the schools will remain open for pick up of meals. Those school sites are Bladenboro Middle, Clarkton School of Discovery, East Arcadia, Elizabethtown Middle, West Bladen High, Tar Heel Middle, and Bladen Lakes Primary. Meals are available from 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM at the school sites.