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Northumberland County Public Schools Keep Students Fed

Northumberland County public school volunteers prepare meals for students.

On March 23, 2020, Northumberland County public schools announced they would be closed for the remainder of the academic year, due to the Governor’s order and in response to the developing COVID-19 pandemic.

“With the schools being shut down, we were certainly worried about our students not having the proper nutrition,” says Northumberland County Bus Driver Tammy Wilkins, in an interview with VPM.

Superintendent Dr. Holly Wargo called Director of School Nutrition Saunee Hamlett and Director of Transportation Stacy Branem to develop a plan.

“We actually know that we have students [who] would not be eating,” says Director of School Nutrition Saunee Hamlett.

“And now with more people being out of work, it is definitely much needed.” School nutrition technicians, volunteers, and bus drivers work together to make and distribute roughly 650 breakfasts and 650 lunches - amounting to about 1300 meals a day.

“The kids get excited to see the bus drivers come through,” says Hamlett. “Some [of the bus drivers] get a little bit emotional seeing their kids again. The best part is seeing how much the families appreciate it.” Still, the team maintains their efforts do not make them heroes. Wilkins says, “I just want to make sure, just like every other county employee, that our kids are fed.”