ESTACADA, OR (KPTV) – While school is closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Estacada School District is making sure its students don't go hungry.
The district is using its bus routes to deliver lunches to students. FOX 12 rode along on one of those delivery routes on Wednesday morning with driver Jody White.
It's the same route that she drives every morning.
"I look forward to seeing my kids every day," White said.
But this time, there were no pickups–just deliveries.
"Doing this, it's great, because I still get to see them even though it's under different circumstances," White said.
Since Gov. Kate Brown ordered the closure of K-12 schools statewide through the end of April, the Estacada School District is getting creative on how it helps its families during the COVID-19 pandemic. It's using its bus routes to deliver food with the same bus drivers on those routes.
The district says 50 percent of its students are on free or reduced lunch. So far, the district says it's delivered to more than 500 students and it's growing every day.
Students like Brayden and Bri Frazey are thrilled that they get to see a familiar face when they get that delivery each morning. They're also glad that people are helping one another.
"Before like, all of this, people weren't working together, but this actually brings the good out of people and shows how good people can actually be each other," Brayden Frazey said.
"I'm worried about all my friends if they don't have, like, if they don't have a good home, like, if they don't have a lot of food, then I wish I could take care of them," Bri Frazey said.
Their mom, Laura Frazey, says this is a huge support for families in the district, some of whom might not want to ask for help.
"They don't feel either that they need it or they want it to go to people that really do need it," Laura Frazey said. "It brings us all together. I think we work more as a team. I think you get to know people you didn't know before and you just want to help everybody."
For Jody White, she's hoping this keeps some routine and normalcy for students and families in a time of uncertainty.
"Hopefully, they're not as scared seeing everything that's going on right now, that we will come out of this fine," White said.
The district is running these delivery routes Monday through Friday this week. After Spring break, it will resume the same delivery schedule.
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