TURNERS FALLS — The past week and a half has kept school staff from across the county busy planning and delivering meals to students. Included is the Franklin County Technical School, which has been working to drive meals across 540 square miles to reach its students.
“Last week was a great week of work for us all,” said Director of School Meals Elizabeth Bouchard.
According to Assistant Principal John Carey, the Franklin Tech serves students who reside across those 540 square miles. Staff members, Carey said, have proven to be up to the challenge of delivering meals across the region during this time of need. Superintendent Richard Martin echoed these sentiments.
“Each one of the past days have proven to be fluid and ever-changing: partnerships and innovative approaches have characterized our work and will continue to do so,” Martin explained.
In the first week of adjusting to the closure and need to provide food for students, Bouchard said the school has logged hundreds of miles on mini-buses operated by Franklin Tech and its contracted bus company, F.M. Kuzmeskus. Their staff delivered more than 1,000 breakfasts and lunches last week, and the school is planning to double that this week.
“Last week we operated each day with numerous stops from Colrain to Orange,” Bouchard said. “We have also made sure to have contingencies with food banks and shelters to ensure we waste nothing. None of the professional work of our staff is going to waste.”
As schools continue to provide basic food security for their students, Franklin Tech has maintained communication with a number of local districts to maximize how freshly prepared, healthy meals are delivered to Franklin Tech students and children in other districts. Bouchard explained she has tried to leverage Franklin Tech’s National School Lunch Program financial reimbursement to help as many students as possible.
“On Friday we started assisting the Pioneer (Valley Regional School) District’s families,” Bouchard noted.