Learning Buses, Vans with Mobile Meals visit kids in need in rural America

Sunny the Bus is helping provide food, books and learning materials to families in rural southern California.

Save the Children volunteers deliver meals and learning materials to kids in rural America

Mobile Meals & Learning Buses, Vans Going the Distance for Kids in Need across Rural America this Holiday Season and Well Beyond

FAIRFIELD, Conn. (November 28, 2022) — Save the Children is partnering with school districts and nonprofit organizations across rural America to fuel and pack up buses and vans delivering nutritious food, books and learning materials to kids in need in some of the country’s hardest to reach communities this holiday season and every day.

The global humanitarian organization has already helped deploy 16 buses and vans in seven states – including Arkansas, California, Kentucky, New Mexico, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Washington – and will have 12 more road-ready vehicles in the next few months, adding mobile food and learning supply deliveries in Mississippi, Texas and West Virginia.  The buses and vans are part of an overall effort – through Save the Children and its partners – to help provide more than 300,000 meals to kids and families this holiday season, as well as tens of thousands of books and learning materials.

With rural child poverty higher than urban in 40 states and 90 percent of the counties with the highest percentage of children at risk for food insecurity designated as rural, Save the Children is working to distribute nutritious meals and learning resources to children with the greatest need, said Lesley Graham, who oversees Save the Children’s community impact programming in the U.S.

“Geographic isolation, lack of transportation, and limited access to fresh food and learning resources are making it very difficult for many rural families to give their children what they need to grow, develop and thrive as learners and in life,” said Graham. “Every child deserves to have the same opportunities, and these buses and vans are meeting families where they are, helping to fill critical gaps in nutrition and learning for kids across rural America.”

Some of the buses and vans are also mobile classrooms, supporting play and learn groups for kids ages 3-5 in child care and preschool deserts – and some are equipped with art supplies, WiFi, laptops and printers, so kids can create and complete homework assignments.

Many of the bus and van deliveries also include recommended educational activities and nutritious recipes for families to try together. One California mom said she looks forward to getting the new recipes that come with each food box her family receives as part of the biweekly deliveries – which include 40 pounds of fresh fruits and vegetables. 

“We cook together, and I use the opportunity to teach them math and science,” she said. Most of all, the young mom added, she is comforted her children are getting the nutrition they need “to grow healthy and strong.”

In the United States and around the world, children are facing hunger due to poverty, climate disasters and health emergencies – and Save the Children is leading the fight against child food insecurity with its “Get Fed Up” campaign, to raise awareness and inspire lasting change for kids. To learn more and how to help, go to www.savethechildren.org/GetFedUp.

Save the Children believes every child deserves a future. Since our founding more than 100 years ago, we’ve changed the lives of more than 1 billion children. In the United States and around the world, we give children a healthy start in life, the opportunity to learn and protection from harm. We do whatever it takes for children – every day and in times of crisis – transforming their lives and the future we share. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube.

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