School buses are still on the go during the pandemic, delivering tens of thousands of meals to students and their families.
Schools may be closed, but bus driver Paul King is still heading out on his regular route in Marlborough. His stops during a pandemic now serve a new purpose — delivering meals.
“This job is all joy for me,” he said.
In Marlborough, bus drivers like King, have already helped deliver more than 70,000 meals to students and their families.
“A lot of these families can’t get to schools to pick up food, so they rely on us,” he said.
But the stops are more than a service, they’re about smiles. Parents say seeing a familiar face provides some much needed normalcy.
“It teaches the kids a sense of community, and it’s great for them since school is out until the end of the year. They love seeing him, gives them a sense of normalcy reminds them of school,” one mom said.
“You get to see our bus driver on Monday, Wednesday and Friday,” said student Chase. “It’s just fun seeing him.”
The effort is made possible with a mix of volunteers and school workers meeting a demand that is greater than during the school year.
“I’m hoping this helps, gives the kids a connection. We miss them. I’m sure they miss us,” said cafeteria manager Laurel Butler.
The program is not just in Marlborough. The bus company, North Reading Transportation, Is doing the same in more than a dozen communities.
“All these bus drivers are here, it’s not a money thing, it’s a love thing,” King said.