With schools around the world closed amid the coronavirus pandemic, kids that rely on school lunches for their midday meals are facing difficulty getting enough food.
Zane Powles is an assistant head teacher at Western Primary School in Grimsby, England, where 41% of the students are entitled to free school meals. When Powles learned that some of his students were likely dealing with food insecurity during this difficult time, he decided to personally address the situation.
Now, each day, he packs 78 lunches prepared by the school’s kitchen staff onto his body, then treks a total of 5 miles on foot to hand-deliver the meals to the students. The whole route takes him about three hours. The food weighs about 40 pounds when he starts out, so he’s definitely getting in quite the workout.
The Twitter account @HereosOfCovid19 tweeted out this photo of Powles ready to depart on his route:
Assistant headteacher @zaneyteacher at Western primary school in Grimsby walks over five miles every day to deliver school meals to scores of children. #HOC19 #COVIDã¼19 #COVID19 #StayAtHome #StaySafe #LocalHeroes "What a HERO" https://t.co/4qm8HCFZWU pic.twitter.com/soWo14HV2H
— Heroes Of Covid-19 (@HeroesOfCovid19) April 9, 2020
“Good Morning America” reports that the kids are delighted when Powles shows up at their door with a sandwich, fruit, chips and dessert. However, he also delivers more than lunch. Powles uses his delivery service to drop off something else essential: homework. The kids are probably a little less excited to receive that, but they’re still happy to see him — and he’s happy he can check on them in person.
All his hard work is worth it when he sees just how much it means to the families he’s helping.
“One of my students rushed to the door with his parents the other day and goes, ‘Mr. Powles is here, he’s saved the world,’ which was lovely to hear,” he told “GMA.” “You can just tell how much this means to the parents and the children. It’s written on their faces.”
In addition to Powles’ service, headteacher Kim Leach and another teacher also take turns delivering another 25 lunches by car to students who live a bit further away.
“It’s a big team effort for sure,” Powles told the Independent. “I look like I’m doing the donkey work, but it really isn’t just me, the other teachers also drive to deliver meals to children who live further away, we call the families up every week to make sure they’re doing okay, we prepare and pack the lunches together every single day.”
Kudos to these amazing teachers for going above and beyond for their students during these extraordinary circumstances!