No matter the weather, you’ll always see a shining sun on Scott County Schools’ Cruisin’ Café. The colorful, renovated school bus is the newest way Scott County Schools is feeding kids this summer.
The bus, painted with a sunglasses-wearing sun and children playing with smiling vegetables, is used to deliver nutritious meals to low-income areas. The café will feed anyone under 19 a bagged lunch, typically with an entree, fruit and vegetable and with either milk or water. The bus features a counter along the inside that can seat up to 16 children at a time.
“This is awesome. This is just absolutely neat,” said Tatum Wiggins, the property manager at Overlook Apartments, one of the locations Cruisin’ Café delivers meals to.
“I’ve been doing the program with [Scott County Schools] for about four years now. The first year my office staff and I had done it to give away the lunches. Then it became mobile, and now this bus, this is really awesome. This is a complete change and I think it’s super cool.”
The bus is driven by Ramona Foster. Scott County Schools employees Jimmy Beckett and Linda Stevens help hand out meals along with volunteer Josh Bourne.
“I just wanted to be helping out,” said Bourne, a Scott County High School junior. “It just makes me happy, it makes me hopeful. I like being helpful and helping people out.”
Almost every child that Bourne delivers a meal to is met with a big smile and told, “Enjoy, buddy!”
Scott County Schools has offered the summer meal program for nearly 30 years. The Cruisin’ Café allows the summer meal program to build recognition, as well as carry more meals.
The seating on the bus also provides a sheltered place for kids to eat in poor weather.
“It’s a really good program,” said Foster.
“It’s always a really good turnout. I really enjoy the kids getting on here to eat cause it feels like ‘Oh! They like the bus!’”
The bus delivers about 150 meals every day. Scott County Schools feeds about 800 kids a day with their summer meal program, said Mitzi Marshall, director of nutrition services for Scott County Schools.
“The Cruisin’ Café has been a dream of mine for a long time,” said Marshall.
“I know our district and I know many children can’t walk or have transportation to our school sites. I needed to get the food to them. So this bus has made that possible.
“But I’m not satisfied with one bus. I plan on adding another one as soon as possible. This is a big district, we have more roads to travel to reach more children.”
The Cruisin’ Café delivers lunch, Monday-Friday, to the following mobile sites: Ed Davis Learning Center at 11:15 a.m.; Overlook Apartments/Scotland Woods at 11:45 a.m.; Georgetown Estates A at 12:15 p.m.; and Georgetown Estates B at 12:35 p.m.
Van delivery is available at the following locations: YMCA at 10:30 a.m.; Northern Heights at 10:45 a.m.; Clairmont Apartments at 11:15 a.m.; Georgetown Terrace at 11:30 a.m.; and Bashford Apartments at 12:20 p.m.
Breakfast is served at Garth, Lemons Mill and Southern elementary schools from 9 to 9:30 a.m. daily, Monday-Friday.
Lunch is served at Garth, Southern, Lemons Mill and Stamping Ground elementary schools and Scott County High School from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. each day.
Marshall and her staff are dedicated to ensuring every child that needs a meal gets one, she said.
Marshall encourages community members that cannot access one of the meal sites or delivery locations listed above to contact her office at 502-570-3035.
NOAH OLDHAM can be reached at email@example.com.