Schools across the state have been providing pickup of free meals to students for the past few months.
And it takes plenty of effort from staff and volunteers to make it happen.
“It’s just good to see their faces when they come through and that’s one of the main reasons I wanted to work for Minot Public Schools,” MPS Nutrition Services staff member Patty Kaler said.
“I’ve been with the Minot Public Schools for about six years now, and my home school is Jim Hill that’s where I work and I do lots of different jobs there throughout the day,” Kaler explained.
Kaler says her jobs throughout normal school days include preparing and serving both breakfast and lunches for students at Jim Hill Middle School.
Once the pandemic forced the school to shut its door, staff still wanted to provide meals for children into the summer.
“We started this program here to keep lunches going with the COVID that’s going on,” Kaler said.
The ladies say they hand out about 600 lunches a day through curbside pickup — along with transporting the meals by bus to different neighborhoods.
“Just to see those kids light up when the buses come around and some of them are standing on the corner, some of them are just waiting by their door so we stop they come run up and tell us how many they need,” Kaler said.
Kaler says she loves helping kids in any way she can.
“Yes that’s the best part of the day saying, ‘Hi have a good day oh we’ll see ya tomorrow’ or if something changes like we’re gonna be here earlier or later we remind them,” she said.
She also says she is most eager to see smiling young faces she serves in the cafeteria but until then…
“That’s my best part is to see their smile — and I can see theirs but they can’t see mine,” Kaler laughed.
Minot Public Schools will be serving meals through June 30, click here for more details.