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500,000th free meal to be served tomorrow

Waynesville serves 500,000 free meals during COVID-19


The Waynesville R-VI School District in partnership with OPAA! just served its 500,000th free meal during COVID-19 today, Friday, June 5, 2020.  

“It is so rewarding to know that amidst a national crisis that we have found a way to keep kids fed,” said Dr. Brian Henry, superintendent. “When you look on paper at what it takes to produce more than 10,000 meals every single day, it’s a logistical challenge, but our staff members forged a can-do attitude and found ways to make it happen.”

Those who make the program possible include district nurses who take temperatures and screen employees every morning, food service personnel who prepare the meals and transportation staff who deliver it, plus others behind the scenes. 

“During these tough times, our free meal program stands as an outstanding example of how our employees care deeply about students and will go the extra mile – literally, by having our bus drivers driving them to neighborhoods – to help kids.”

The district will continue to deliver the free meals on the special bus routes on weekdays through June 30; in addition, the meals are available for drive-up service at Wood Elementary, Freedom Elementary and Waynesville High School. 

All children age 18 and under and qualified mentally and physically handicapped adults who participate in a school program are eligible to receive three free meals a day – breakfast, lunch and a super snack. Each super snack includes a fruit, vegetable, grain, protein and dairy serving.

There is no enrollment or paperwork for families to complete to receive the free meals. Funds for breakfast and lunch meals are being provided through the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) in partnership with OPAA! Funding for super snacks are provided through funds from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food and Nutrition Child and Adult Food Care Program. 



Ben Wunderlich of Waynesville with his dog Titus picked up the 500,000th meal served during COVID-19 on June 5, 2020. Transportation employees Glen Coffelt and Tina Brown made the delivery, which marked an important  milestone for the program. 



Ryan Murphy, director of nutrition services for OPAA!; Rube Dowell, AmeriCorps member; Danina Ashley, transportation employee; Jesus Hernandez, AmeriCorps member; and Karl Wilking, director of transportation, pose for a photo following the serving of the 500,001st meal that was provided through the drive-through site at Waynesville High School. The meals are provided to all children age 18 and under

June 4, 2020


Tina Meals