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A free school lunch program is a lifesaver if you have three kids and money is tight, and Katie and Tyler Busken counted on it. When the COVID-19 quarantine closed schools, they knew they would make a lot of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for the rest of March. But no one could say how long the quarantine, or the household budget, would last.
The Buskens live in the small city of Troy, about an hour outside of St. Louis. Like many families across America, they are careful with their finances but do not have money to spare. So they were relieved to hear that the school district would provide a “grab and go” breakfast and lunch program for the duration of the quarantine. There was still a problem, though. How would they pick up the meals?
Thankfully, PCHAS therapeutic mentors partner with the Troy School District. One of them, Dawn Forte, mentors two of the Busken girls, 10-year-old Kaylin and 8-year-old Lillian. She knew that the Buskens and some other families did not have a way to pick up their free meals. She also knew that the financial and emotional stress of the COVID-19 crisis would weigh heavily on them. The girls needed her more than ever.
Dawn seized the opportunity to deliver meals and visit with her mentees from a safe distance. She drops by five days a week with meals and, on Fridays, brings extras for the weekend.
As a mother trying to protect her children from any negative impacts of the current crisis, Katie finds this help from PCHAS essential. “The look of excitement when the kids receive their meals is beyond words,” says Katie. “This has a positive impact on the children and gives them something to look forward to!” To all PCHAS staff and supporters, Katie says, “You are helping so many struggling families through this hard time. Keep up the great work!”
For information about becoming a therapeutic mentor or to refer a child for mentoring, call 800-888-1904 or contact us.