Beth Petty, LSSD Family Resource Center coordinator, said the rolling bus served 7,350 lunches. The Neon Bus is the district’s first mobile bus café for its summer food program. The district refurbished and fitted a decommissioned bus with a serving area and six tables with the ability to seat 24 people.
Anyone 18 and younger, regardless of income, was able to get a meal from the district’s summer food program, which is administered by the Department of Human Services under an agreement with the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Last month, Angie Ballard, LSSD child nutrition program supervisor, said the program served 575 breakfasts at Coles Ferry in the month of June.
For four years, the district’s Family Resource Center has provided a small summer food program at the Wilson County Civic League, but district leaders said it soon became evident it was not enough.
Last year, Ballard and several of her cafeteria crew were awarded federal funds and headed out in a large school van, now called “the Little Neon” to provide hot meals to anyone 18 and younger at several sites, including the Don Fox Park.
“There are some days when the small van serves just as many as the bus does,” said Ballard, who said the department has looked at expanding the program.
Ballard also praised the TEAM NEON (LSSD’s child nutrition team), which include: Pam McPeak, Alexandrea Mofield, Rhonda Richie, Nell Haynes, Christine Johnson, Carmen Holmes, Toni Buchanan, Shawnie Oberholtzer, Debbie Spencer and Lynne Jordan, bus driver.