My name is Kiana, and I am an AmeriCorps member serving with the Toppenish School District, through the United Way of King County. I am with the Fuel Your Future program, where we serve to promote Breakfast after the Bell and increase awareness of the importance of eating nutritious meals.
Over the past few months, my service has taken a surprising turn. On March 13th, the Toppenish School District announced that school was going to be shut down until further notice due to COVID-19. Which eventually led the district to announce that school would be cancelled for the remainder of the school year. I was confused for what that meant for my service and scared for my own personal safety. Despite school being cancelled, food service is still required to supply meals for the students. Which worked in my benefit. I was able to contribute to the community by helping pack and distribute the meals. I even planned a Spirit week for the Toppenish School district in the hopes of helping the kids feel a little back to normal and to show them that even though school is out, we can still show our Wildcat Spirit while social distancing at the same time. I put together a flyer that was posted on the website and Facebook page, encouraging everyone to come dressed in Spirit when they pick up their grab n go meals. We gave out 300 meals that day!
Adjusting to the new COVID-19 protocol was difficult at first, but over time it became routine. At the school that I am primarily at, we average 300-350 meals a day, which is amazing. I get to serve with the amazing food service staff and see the kids daily just like before the breakout. This is still a scary time for everyone, but it has been very heartwarming to see everyone in the district come together and put the students first. The students need our kindness, support, and nutritious meals now more than ever. I will continue to help in every way I possibly can, and smile at everyone under my mask.