The wheels on the Lunch Box buses are rolling again through rural East Tennessee thanks in part to the supporters of Americans Helping Americans®.
Our partner, Of One Accord (OOA), headquartered in the small town of Rogersville, will begin their Lunch Box Bus program next week. The Lunch Box buses are retired school buses that have been purchased and converted into mobile cafeterias. The seats have been modified, tables added, and the bus spaces have been revamped to serve healthy, pre-prepared meals. Each weekday, they will bring lunch to hundreds of children living in remote, small communities located in the hills and hollers of Appalachia.
Each day, the buses will deliver healthy meals – which include fruit, veggies and milk. Typically, four of the meals served per week are hot and the fifth is a bagged lunch.
In 2019, the Lunch Box bus program served over 10,000 meals to children, and despite the drop off during the summers of the pandemic years in 2020 and 2021, last year the buses were eagerly anticipated by hundreds of children each week.
And, with COVID-19 era assistance running out this year, the need to feed these children will be greater.
This summer, our goal is to serve over
And, on a side note, OOA Executive Director Sheldon Livesa commented that Of One Accord’s Lunch Box bus program has drawn attention as a model summer meals program for rural areas, where unlike in urban and suburban areas children can simply walk a few blocks to their school or community centers for a free, healthy meal all summer long the lunches must be brought to them.
“Organizations from around the nation, including Feeding America’s Food Banks, and even one from overseas have come to ride the Lunch Box bus and promote it as a ‘best practice.”’
In addition, Sheldon wants to ensure our supporters know that “Through the amazing help of Americans Helping Americans®, we have been able to fulfill this mission each year without any interruption.”