POCATELLO, Idaho (KIFI/KIDK) - The wheels on a lunch delivery program to pre-k students in Bannock County are coming to a halt. Friday is the last day for bus drivers and volunteers.
"It's rewarding to be able to do something for families who need help," bus driver Desiree Havin said.
Delivering prepared lunches became an everyday duty for Havin when schools shut down in Pocatello and Chubbuck last month.
"Some of our children can't make it to the park to pick up lunches so we kind of help our families as much as we can," Havin said.
With more than 200 students, Lincoln Head Start serves as a crucial safety net for low-income families. The program provides free pre-k educational programs for children between 3 and 5 years old.
Among those families is Armando Orozco’s. He’s a father of seven children and supporting his family through his job as a grocery clerk at Fred Meyer. However, his job as a father grew more challenging once schools shut down due to COVID-19 concerns.
"It's been a crazy time. Like I said, having this many people in the house constantly is hard," Orozco said.
It's the sense of security, Armando says, that makes all the difference; knowing the head start services is helping to support his family.
"We're trying to keep everyone here because I'm already taking a big risk of being out there in the community. Just knowing they have food here makes it easier for me to be at work I know they're being provided for."
Head Start director Cathy Brey says she finds joy knowing that her students are well-fed in the mornings even during a pandemic.
"All of us here at Head Start, it's the joy we get in knowing we can help make someone's life a bit easier," Brey said.
The end of the school year will also be an end to the delivery service. However, school administrators and District 25 are working with local agencies to help provide additional lunches for families in need throughout the summer.