Bartlesville Schools To Provide Meals During Walkout
BARTLESVILLE, Oklahoma - With Bartlesville Public Schools announcing they'll be out on Monday, the district is taking steps to make sure kids who rely on school lunches won't go hungry.
"I couldn't be happier because that's what I do. I feed kids,” said Hoover Elementary Child Nutrition Manager Beverly Parker.
Parker has been working in the lunchroom at Hoover Elementary for 19 years. She said she couldn't see herself doing anything else.
"They make me happy because they'll go through and tell me I'm pretty or I like your hair and when you're in this line of business you don't feel pretty," laughed Parker.
Parker and her staff are preparing for schools to be shut down on Monday, so even though the teachers will not be there, they still will be.
"We’ll have breakfast ready. We will have lunch ready. Any child or adult that needs to come in and eat, we'll be here,” said Parker.
About 60% of the kids at Hoover Elementary are on free and reduced lunch so some of them wouldn't be able to eat if the schools weren't open.
"About half of our students do live in food insecurity so it's important to us that they have breakfast and lunch just in case,” said Director if Child Nutrition Jon Beckloff.
And because the district is choosing to keep the cafeterias open during the walkout, the staff serving the food will still be collecting a paycheck.
“We have an amazing staff and they have been able to do what needs to be done and it feels good to be able to be paid," said Parker.
“For my staff, their focus has been on the students rather than the income, they just want to make sure the students are taken care of,” said Beckloff.
And even though Beverly said a raise would be nice, she doesn't do it for the money.
“It doesn't pay me as much as these kids pay me each day," said Parker.
For a list of times that schools will be open for breakfast and lunch on Monday, visit this link.
The middle school and high school will stick to a cold meal. All other schools will have a hot and cold option.