PHOENIX - On Wednesday, an elementary school district in the Valley honored school bus drivers who helped keep kids fed during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
"As hard as it’s been for society, we did a good thing, said Bradley Dunn, a school bus driver for the Fowler School District.
For nine weeks while school doors were closed, Dunn didn't miss a day of work.
"It’s been awesome working with the kids," said Dunn. "That’s the best part. The kids."
He wasn't picking up the kids or dropping them off at school. Instead, Dunn's bus was filled with meals to feed the kids.
"[Dunn] had perfect attendance during the shutdown," said Sunridge Elementary School Assistant Principal Matthew Stewart. "We ended up serving over 170,000 meals, and he was on the bus every day, delivering them to our children."
Bus drivers had the option to stay home, but Bradley, along with hundreds of others, decided that their reward was seeing their kids be fed, something Dunn says was the best part.
"Let me tell you: the kids are special, and running into 200 kids every day was awesome," said Dunn. "They are the ones that got the best deal out of this. We gave them the good stuff, and it lights them up. You give them a bag of food for three days."
To show appreciation, Stewart dropped off some donuts, a sign, and a t-shirt on Thursday.
"They didn’t have to do it, so they were allowed to stay home and do professional development online or virtual work, and [Dunn] and nearly 100 employees chose to come and do this," said Stewart. "We are a Title I district. At my school, Sunridge, we have 84% free and reduced lunch, and a lot of these kids wouldn’t have anywhere else to eat during the day, and with the layoffs and everything else, it’s been really appreciative."
"When it comes down to it, pulling up and you see a line of kids and smiles on their faces, that’s the best part," said Dunn.
The program is over, but they started a new program that will feed kids from 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. at four of their schools. It's open to kids under the age of 18.
Fowler Elementary School District Meal program
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