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Lunchroom Workers Step Up During Crisis

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Throughout the crisis that is now known as the “Corona Virus Pandemic,” heroes from all walks have life have emerged. Among them of course are the “frontline” people of the medical profession, including Doctors, Nurses, Respiratory and Lab Techs, Pharmacists and Pharmacy Techs, Nursing Assistants and Paramedics and EMTs. We know of these and the Law Enforcement personnel and Firefighters that must continue on with their mission no matter is going on in the world around us.

But there is also a group of people whom you may not have considered a “hero.” In fact when you talk with them they are quick to deflect the label, because they will tell you, “that they are just doing what’s right.” That group, are the ladies that get up every day and leave the security of their homes to come to Vidalia High School and prepare meals for the students of the Vidalia City School System.

“Our ladies have been champions throughout this whole process and have never said no,” according to Denise Parson, Director of School Nutrition for the Vidalia City School System. Parson continued “They are always willing and ready to pitch in and help and are really heroes if you ask me.”

But Tina Wheeler, who is the Manager of the VHS Lunchroom, says that even though their staffs know they don’t have to come in and fix the meals, they know it is the right thing to do. “Some of these kids wouldn’t get a meal if it wasn’t for these ladies coming in and doing this. But they care about the students they serve and we all know that it’s very important to make sure that our children have the nutrition that they need during this time.”

Teresa Pittman who is the Manager at Sally D. Meadows echoed Wheeler’s assessment saying “my staff have told me time after time, they are willing and ready to do anything it takes to make sure we get the children fed.” “For some it’s the only meal they get and to provide for them during this time, is just the right thing to do.”

“The right thing to do” is just how J.R.Trippe Middle School Manager Juanita Monroe describes the effort. “This just lets me know that we are doing something right. Just knowing that our children are being fed, means so much, it makes you feel good.”

Parson says that they prepare over 500 lunches a day and that the schools alternate days coming in and preparing the meals. “We kind of began on a spur of the moment when all of this started, but now we have the schedule down and it makes it a little easier on everyone.”

Parson went on to say that the community has also stepped up with the distribution of the lunches, offering drop off locations and even helping in the distribution. “Listen, the Vidalia Church of God contacted us and asked if they could be a distribution point! The same with St Paul AM, I mean they get it! They understand the importance of this!”

Parson also said in addition to the Boys and Girls Club being a pickup location, another ministry has stepped up to help, “Tina Houser and God’s Storehouse has been helping to deliver meals to our children, and they do this out of the goodness of their hearts. All of them do!”

Parson who has been able to ride with Houser said that to see the kids reactions when they see the meals delivered is priceless. “When you see those children run out of the house, jumping up and down, because you are bringing them a sack lunch, I gotta tell you, it’s pretty amazing.”

1001 North Street, West | Vidalia, Georgia 30474