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Food truck reaches families in rural Indiana districts

Posted at 8:08 AM, Apr 16, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-16 08:08:30-04

MONROE CO. — With school buildings closed for the year across Indiana and unemployment skyrocketing due to the pandemic, we know many families may be struggling to make sure their kids are fed.

And we see the efforts here in the city to feed Indianapolis children, but that need is still high in rural communities.

Sometimes in areas that are more spread out it can be challenging to get the food to those kids in need.

Richland Bean Blossom Community School Corporation serves the northwest portion of Monroe County.

We talked to their director of nutrition services and healthy schools, Vickie Coffey.

She tells us the need is growing for meals in their more rural community, but if parents are working during the day or the people at home don't have their own transportation it can be difficult to make it to their weekly meal pickups on Mondays at the junior high school from 11 to 1.

That's why the district is bringing the food to some of their neighborhoods most in need right now, using their healthy food truck.

Vickie says while the past few weeks have been outside of their regular routine, she's encouraged by what she sees at these pickups.

"This has been probably one of the most unorganized things I have put together - all of us directors in the nation. Ya know, we are used to knowing our numbers every day and planning our menus - ya know I have to tell ya I've been doing this all my life and this has been the most rewarding three weeks of my entire career," Coffey said.

When we last talked to Coffey, the district served close to 500 students that Monday, which amounted to almost 5,000 meals for the week.

If you are looking to donate they could always use plastic baggies and monetary donations.

To minimize the risk of exposure to COVID19, the district has revised their feeding schedule in recent weeks.

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Weekly Feeding On-Site Pick Up:
Our meals will be provided beginning Monday, March 23rd and each Monday throughout the closure. We will provide a pick up at the JR High School which will be meals for the week. Breakfast pick up hours are 9:00 a.m. until 9:30 a.m. and lunch will be available for pick up from 12:00 p.m. until 1:30 p.m. Children must be present to receive meals. Meals are FREE for all children.

Daily Feeding Delivery:
We will also provide a daily meal delivery with our food truck to the following locations:

Garden Hill/E&M Trailer Court at 11:00 a.m. - LOCATION MAP [drive.google.com]

Lenzy Hayes Trailer Court at 11:40 a.m. - LOCATION MAP [drive.google.com]

Kelli Heights Neighborhood at 12:00 p.m. - LOCATION MAP [drive.google.com]

Richland Manor Neighborhood at 12:30 p.m. - LOCATION MAP [drive.google.com]

Stinesville School parking lot at 1:15 p.m. - LOCATION MAP [drive.google.com]

Please click here for an overview of the locations of the food truck. [drive.google.com]

Children must be present to receive meals. Meals are FREE for all children. Also, if your child has a food allergy, please call or email directly at 812-876-7805 or vcoffey@rbbschools.net so we can make the necessary substitutions.

If for any reason, you cannot get to the pick up location or the food truck location, please call or email directly at 812-876-7805 or vcoffey@rbbschools.net

Backpack Blessings News:
For families that are on our Backpack Blessings program or any families needing weekend food bags, they will be at all food truck locations weekly on Fridays. If you have any questions about the program or need additional resources, please reach out to Sharon Aikman directly at 812-606-0916.

Also, as the COVID-19 recommendations and procedures change, we will adhere to all recommendations by the CDC, and Monroe County Health Department, therefore, our plans could change. We will keep you abreast of any changes as we encounter them.

Please visit our Nutrition Services and Healthy Schools page on our website at www.rbbschools.net [rbbschools.net] where you can download our free menu app today with nutritional and allergen information at School Lunch by Nutrislice.