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Fri June 20, 2014
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CHOW Bus Keeping Murfeesboro Children Fed This Summer

A Murfreesboro child receives food from the CHOW bus, operated by Murfreesboro City Schools.
Credit Emily West for WMOT

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (WEST)  --  Kids ease out of their houses on a rainy mid-day, waiting for a retired blue bus to pull into the Rolling Acres apartment complex. 

Nowadays, more than 100 Rutherford County students find their breakfasts and lunches through a new program called the CHOW bus.

Mid-state parents, who were struggling to make ends meet, don’t usually have to worry about their kids getting a good meal during the school year. Breakfast and lunch are provided daily.  But summertime usually meant hardship, until Murfreesboro City Schools decided to change that.

The idea for the traveling food bus was a no brainer for Sandy Scheele, Murfreesboro City Supervisor of Nutrition.

“Hunger doesn’t stop,” Scheele said.  “It doesn’t that there is an end of the school year. It’s important that we can provide meals to kids throughout the year.”

The meals are completely paid for by the Department of Human Services. For each meal the CHOW bus serves, Murfreesboro City Schools is reimbursed. However, the idea took time to form.

Scheele knew kids were hungry during the summer, and she knew she wanted to change that. So once the city had a retired school bus available, she pitched the idea for a mobile feeding program.

And it worked.

The bus is now not picking up kids for school, but making five stops to deliver meals, including Allen Chapel off of South Maney Avenue.

Stay-at-home mother of four Eurika Henry stands beside the driver’s door, watching her kids ranging from pre-k to 18. They found the bus for the first time recently. 

They later came back for lunch for turkey sandwiches, fruit, milk and more goodies stuffed within the contents of each lunch bag.

“I actually like it,” Henry said. “Being that they out for school, it helps save on food. We came from breakfast, so we came back for lunch.

It’s something Henry says she will be doing for kids the rest of the summer.