Lunch & Literacy Bus sees successful first week

Published 4:28 pm Friday, June 22, 2018

Just one week into a program to provide local children with books and meals during the summer, Carter County School System officials already see growth over last year’s installment of the initiative.

Members of the Carter County Board of Education received an update on the Lunch & Literacy Bus during the group’s meeting on Thursday afternoon.

Subscribe to our free email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

The program kicked off on Monday serving two locations — one in Hampton and one in Elk Mills.

“We’ve actually had a steady number of children,” Director of School Nutrition Lindsey Feathers told the Board. The program is seeing a lot more students this year than last year, which was the first year for the program, according to Feathers.

“We served 25 kids the first day at Little Milligan,” said Amanda Scalf, who is assisting Feathers with the program. “That’s a fourth of their kids.”

Feathers said the program has seen a positive response from the students and their families for the program.

“They were just so excited,” Feathers said. “I think it’s a wonderful thing we are doing for our community.”

As part of the program, children and teens age 18 and under can come to the program site and receive a free meal and a free book. Under the program rules, the meals must be eaten on site to ensure food safety and that the child or teen is the one consuming the meal. Adult meals will not be served.

Meals for the program include many of the things students will see on the lunch menu at their schools.

“We have really tried to create a kid-friendly menu,” Feathers said.

On the literacy side of the program, the school system has worked to be able to provide books the children will enjoy to help encourage them to read more. Feathers praised Scalf’s work with the books, telling Board members that Scalf has purchased specific books for children when the child couldn’t find the book they wanted on the bus.

Scalf shared with the Board one case in particular where she purchased a book for a child who didn’t find the book he wanted on the bus.

“When I told him I could get him any book he wanted he asked if there was a price limit,” Scalf said, adding the child told her the book he wanted and she purchased it to bring to him the next day. “He said ‘Did you really buy that book for me?’ Getting to get that kid a book was pretty awesome.”

The Lunch and Literacy Bus program will run a total of four weeks, visiting sites Monday through Thursday of each week. Most of the weeks will feature deliveries at two sites in the communities served by one of the county’s high schools. However, Feathers informed the Board she was able to add a third site for the week the program will serve the Cloudland community.

The Lunch and Literacy Bus will be at the following sites on the dates and times listed below:

June 25-28

• Hunter Elementary School’s front parking lot – noon – 12:30 p.m.

• Stoney Creek Volunteer Fire Department – 1-1:30 p.m.

July 9-12

• Old Cloudland Elementary School parking lot – 11:15-11:45 a.m.

• Roan Mountain State Park pool parking lot – noon – 12:30 p.m.

• Lower Shell Creek Christian Church parking lot – 1-1:30 p.m.

July 16-19

• Central Community Christian Church parking lot – noon – 12:30 p.m.

• Big Springs Baptist Church parking lot – 1-1:30 p.m.

For more information, visit the school system’s food service department website at