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Lowell School District goes the extra mile for students

The Lowell School District provides an essential service for its students, delivering anything from lunches to Google Chromebooks to toilet paper.

Posted: Apr 7, 2020 6:57 PM

LOWELL, Ore. -- Schools across the country are providing to-go meals for students, and administrators in the Lowell School District are going the extra mile.

“Today we had tuna fish sandwiches on a whole grain roll. (The lunch) also included a fruit, a vegetable and a bag of chips,” said food service director Billy Reid.

That delicious-sounding meal was delivered to over 300 students. Even the parents get a little something.

“We like to give the moms a brownie of their own to make their day special,” said Reid. “Just to see their faces light up, it means everything.”

Some students drive through to pick up their lunch. But with around 875 kids scattered across four different schools, others rely on district buses to deliver the essential meal.

And that is no easy task. Lowell bus drivers take five routes on their daily delivery, hitting a total of 120 stops to distribute the food.

“It keeps us busy, that's for sure. I think it’s a great thing the school is doing,” said bus driver Kerry Poggemeyer.

“We want to keep people employed and working as long as possible. People tend to go a little bit crazy when they are sealed up in their houses all the time,” said Lowell School District Superintendent Johnie Matthews. “This is a rural district out here. So we want to make sure we (feed) those kids that don’t have access to transportation.”

The deliveries don’t just stop at lunches. Lowell is also delivering Google Chromebooks to every student who doesn’t have access to a laptop. And by doing so, it allows all kids to participate in online learning during this unprecedented time.

Lowell began online learning April 1 and has since then distributed 350 chromebooks and 40 hot spots. Now all students have the opportunity to be academically engaged.

“It’s just such a blessing and we are so blessed by the community and the school,” said parent Sarah Mason.

Oh, and one more thing: they also hand out toilet paper.

“We understand it’s a hot commodity these days," said Matthews. "So we wanted to give out a free roll of toilet paper with every meal served.”

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