Kits for 30,000 meals delivered by Saskatoon bus drivers, school staff during COVID-19 pandemic

This is the final week of deliveries for a school lunch program that's provided enough food for Saskatoon families to prepare more than 30,000 meals.

Delivery program ending for the summer, but families can pick up meals directly from schools

Greater Saskatoon Catholic Schools educational assistant Theresa Lilley says it feels great to help their families through the COVID-19 pandemic. She and other staff have delivered food for 30,000 meals to Saskatoon families since the COVID-19 restrictions began. (Chanss Lagaden/CBC)

This is the final week of deliveries for a school lunch program that's provided enough food for Saskatoon families to prepare more than 30,000 meals during the coronavirus pandemic.

"It's been really great," said Gary Beaudin, a manager with Greater Saskatoon Catholic Schools.

When COVID-19 restrictions were imposed in March, the division's schools could no longer feed kids through in-school breakfast and lunch programs. Beaudin said the division decided to deliver the meals directly to isolated students and families in need.

Officials worked out transportation routes, schedules and meal plans. The meals were packed at the schools and then delivered to homes by school bus drivers and educational assistants.

Educational assistants, bus drivers and other Greater Saskatoon Catholic Schools staff have assembled and delivered enough food to prepare 30,000 meals to area families since the COVID-19 restictions began in March. (Chanss Lagaden/CBC)

Thursday morning, educational assistant Theresa Lilley and her team delivered a bus full of brown paper bags to families in the Mount Royal neighbourhood.

Lilley said it feels great to help their school families through the COVID-19 pandemic.

"You see the families … just full of smiles, and you see the love in their eyes," Lilley said.

While the bus delivery service will be ending for the summer now that school is done, Beaudin said families can still receive meal boxes by going directly to the schools.

The bus made one of its last stops for this school year at Hilary Herman's house on Thursday. Her four kids attend St. Mary's Wellness and Education Centre. She said the food helps a lot, but the children loved seeing people from their school.

"It's very much appreciated," Herman said. "The kids were really missing school and now they get to see some of the staff."



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