PREBLE COUNTY — National Trail Local School District has set up a daily lunch option for students in the form of a lunch delivery program. According to Superintendent Bob Fischer, the intention behind this program is to ease some of the burden on district families.
At press time, from 11 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. on weekdays, National Trail is using their school buses to deliver a packed lunch to various locations in the community. The meal program is intended for students in the district grades K-12.
The lunch program started on Tuesday, March 17 and will run through Friday, March 27. As of now, National Trail is on Spring Break the week of March 30 and are looking at possible options during break, but nothing has yet been decided, according to Fischer.
“If the shutdown continues after spring break we plan to continue to serve lunch each week in some form. However, we will continue to follow any guidelines that are set by the Governor’s Office,” he said.
“As a result of the shutdown created by the current Coronavirus Pandemic, National Trail wanted to do what we could to make sure that our students had the opportunity for a good meal during the middle of the day when many of our families were working. In addition, this program was a way for National Trail Staff to interact with our students and let them know we are here for them even though we are not in the traditional classroom setting.”
Any National Trail student in K-12 is eligible for the program and they can find updates in the following ways: On the National Trail Website (www.nationaltrail.k12.oh.us), through social media (Instagram: nt_blazers; Facebook: National Trail Local School District; Twitter: @rfischer45327, @NationalTrailAD). The district also utilized one call text option to send regular reminders.
During the first two days of delivery, the district has watched participation numbers grow. One the first day, they served 163 students and on day two they served over 220 students.
Ultimately, Fischer believes this will be a huge benefit to the students at National Trail Local School District, who not only are without lunch, but also without socialization of their teachers and peers.
”One of the biggest benefits is the opportunity for our staff to see the students while we are closed down. Because of the suddenness of the shutdown, as a staff, we truly have not been able to wrap our heads around the possibility that we may not see the kids again this year,” he said.
“In addition, this is a way for our students and families to know we are here for them if needed and offer another form of security and reassurance that everything will be okay. Research has shown that students are happier and healthier when they’re well nourished. We also believe that National Trail is an essential part of our community and we want to do whatever we can to help our families during this uncertain time.”
According to Fischer, the lunch deliver program is only possible through the efforts of National Trial staff.
“Each day, we have multiple staff who show up to help prep, pack and load the food on the bus. Then at 10:45 a.m. we take three buses and travel to our prearranged locations throughout the district. One bus travels to five locations in New Paris, one bus travels to locations in Eldorado and West Manchester, and a third bus travels to New Hope, Campbellstown and a few additional locations in the southeast part of our district. We also use Door 24 at the school as a pickup location.
“This program wouldn’t be a success without the countless NT Staff Volunteers (Teachers, Educational Aides and Administrators), Bus Drivers and Kitchen Staff that are helping each day! We are lucky to have such wonderful caring people! A special thank you to Dorothy Frist (Director of Food Service) for ordering our food items, The Preble County Sheriffs office, NT SRO Austin Snowden and New Paris Police Chef Jeremy Schroeder for their assistance and travel escorts and John Toschlog (Director of Transportation and Safety) for organizing our drivers.”
Reach Kelsey Kimbler at 937-683-4061 or on Twitter @KKimbler_RH