ALTUS, Okla. (TNN) - Although Altus Public Schools may not be open for class, they are open for breakfast and lunch. Monday through Friday, you can find volunteers in the Altus High School cafeteria. They are packing breakfast and lunch for kids 18 and under and disabled individuals 21 and under. They are calling it “Operation Bulldog Thunder.”
“Well, this is really uncharted waters for us, and it’s so important to our district," said Sabina Garrett, child nutrition program director for Altus Public Schools. "We have a strong superintendent, Roe Worbes, and board of education members who want to take care of the kids, not just our students, but kids in the community. So when this event happened, we felt we needed to continue feeding. So we put our heads together, brainstormed and felt a mobile feeding plan was going to be the best option.”
On Monday, over 500 kids walked away with two nutritious meals. Garrett said they know how to feed the kids and give them what they like, which is why that number has doubled.
“We planned for over 1,000 today and we’re hoping that it will continue to grow," said Garrett. "We want to meet that need. There is a definite need in the community.”
Superintendent Roe Worbes said although this school year has not gone as planned, he continues to put the bulldogs first and foremost.
“Our priority right now is the safety and well-being of our faculty and our staff and our students," said Worbes. "Second priority is feeding all of our students. We want to make sure that they get healthy meals and then we’ll transition into their virtual or remote learning, later. We’re going to meet their basic needs right now.”
Worbes said volunteering with “Operation Bulldog Thunder” is what is helping get him through this tough time.
“To see their smiles, they’re so excited to see the bulldog bus, get some normalcy back into their lives, get to see some faces that they haven’t been able to see, their teachers, maybe their custodian, their cook, just some common faces in their life," said Worbes. "It’s just very heartwarming, and the students and their parents have just been so thankful and grateful and, ‘God bless you,’ and it’s just amazing. It’s an awesome opportunity for Altus Public Schools.”
For Annelise Harrison, a first grade student at APS, seeing her teachers and other familiar faces from school is something she looks forward to.
“It’s my favorite,” said Harrison.
“Operation Bulldog Thunder” will be offered every week, Monday through Friday, until further notice. To find a mobile meal route near you, visit the Altus Public Schools website.