Aleta Walley and Cynthia Layton looked forward to the sound of children’s voices this summer.
“The lunch bus is here! The lunch bus is here!” children would shout as the two showed up on in a Madison County school bus with sacked lunches.
Madison County’s Summer Meal Program provided nutritious meals throughout the summer to kids in need, summer campers and other youth at a variety of locales.
Walley and Layton were among several workers who distributed the food, which was prepared every weekday morning in the Madison County Middle School cafeteria. The food included entrees such as hamburgers and chicken sandwiches, as well as vegetables, fruits and milk.
Layton sat in the back of the bus and passed out the meals.
“It made me feel like I was accomplishing something,” she said. “They’d come running to the bus. They would sit there and wait on us to get there with the bus. It was just a joy for me. I rode in the back of the bus. It was just fun. I would learn who everybody was. It was just a joy to know those kids were looking forward to us coming through to take care of them.”
Layton said she felt a bond with the children.
“There were two little boys that touched my heart,” she said. “They were sort of the Opie Taylor type boys. They were just precious. They actually hugged my neck and told me they were going to miss me on my last day.”
Walley also enjoyed providing the meals to kids.
“They were polite,” said Walley of the kids. “Everyone of them said thank you. We had a good reaction to everything. They were just super kids.”
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Rhoda Davenport (front) and Becky Ford (back) prepare hamburgers on a recent summer morning at Madison County Middle School. Zach Mitcham/staff
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