As Schools Close, Rural Community Steps Up to Keep Students Fed


Tyne Morgan, Dairy Herd Management 

March 23, 2020


Jerry McGraw travels his bus route daily, but for the past week, he’s been driving his route without any students inside. Stop after stop, he’s delivering more than a familiar face to students who are wondering if they’ll even get to finish this school year at school. McGraw is also delivering a necessity that students and families thought they may have to do without.


“What we're doing is we're delivering sack lunches,” says McGraw, a bus driver for Hardin-Central Schools in Hardin, Mo. “We're seeing who is available to receive those sack lunches and find out who needs them.”


McGraw is one of several patriots in this small town, going beyond their typical weekday job.


“We're utilizing the buses to go around and serve these sack lunches to the needy children,” he explains.


McGraw is one of several at the schools stepping up in a time of need.


“That's one service that we felt like was imperative that we could continue to offer our students so are in need of this,” says  Trey Cavanah, Superintendent at Hardin-Central Schools. “Yesterday was our first day we had over 30% participation of our student body. So, it was a very successful program.”


After the school made the decision to close due to COVID-19 concerns, the school board knew the district needed to act, and act fast. Hardin-Central is a small school, with just over 200 students K-12, but one that has 50% of its students on free or reduced lunch...


more, including video report [4:20 min.]