Music, horn honks, balloons and thank-you signs spilled from the open windows of the vehicle making its way past a school and another school and another school.
Offering up simple appreciation with hand-written notes and a bag of personal care products, a group of H-E-B employees made stops last week across Killeen ISD schools to thank school nutrition employees for feeding students during the continuing school closures.
Sally Mehle, H-E-B Fort Hood Area Community Coordinator brought a group of employees from the grocery store’s Trimmier Road location to spread cheer at five schools in Killeen.
Other H-E-B stores did the same at schools to the west and east, delivering insulated bags with care products and thank-you notes to the 13 sites that continue serving breakfast and lunch bags to families.
“We wanted to celebrate all our school nutrition staff serving on the front lines,” said Mehle following stops at Manor and Rancier middle schools and West Ward, Peebles and Hay Branch elementary schools.
“These employees are doing a great job supporting our community and families,” she said.
It was clear at each stop the delivery was a surprise to the school cafeteria staff members. They serve combined breakfast and lunchbags weekdays from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m. The service began March 17, the second day of unexpected school closure. It continues through May 29.
“It was a surprise,” said Hay Branch School Nutrition Manager Michele Sturdivant. “It’s nice that others are thinking about us. We are here working like doctors and nurses and grocery store employees. We’re here for the kids.”
At Rancier Middle School, Principal Alan Gawryszewski joined the excitement, offering his praise and shooting some video.
“It’s a good recognition,” he said. “These employees work hard every day and they have continued since this started. I’ve seen parents come through happy to see them. They are making a difference taking care of our kids.”
“Every time we see the kids come, we greet them,” said Sturdivant. “Everyone gets to eat something and parents don’t have to worry about breakfast and lunch.”
“It was so much fun to see the reaction,” said Mehle. “I saw some tears with the music and the signs.”
The first eight days in May, the school district’s meal distribution sites served between 3,780 and 4,524 people a day. Through Friday, nutrition workers have served more than 150,000 meals at 13 sites.
In June, KISD School Nutrition Services will convert to the district’s summer food service program, continuing the Grab & Go pick-up style and the hours from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m. at the district’s summer school locations: https://killeenisd.org/WebData/DocumentViewer/KISD_Summer_Feeding.pdf