National Guard helps Bladen Co. Schools feed thousands of students during pandemic


ELIZABETHTOWN, NC (WWAY) — Bladen County Schools have teamed up with the National Guard to bring normalcy and keep students fed during the pandemic.

Student Melissa Lopez said she is always just as excited to see the national guardsmen and women as they are to deliver her breakfast and lunch everyday.

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She said it is the interactions that have left a mark.

“The Army keeps all of us safe forever,” Melissa Lopez stated.

Student Angel Foster said there is nothing more remarkable than those one-on-one visits and the variety of food.

“We all like chickens. The McChicken sandwiches and the french fries,” Foster said.

The Guard has been preparing and delivering thousands of meals to children 18 years of age and younger for two months now.

Service Member Matthew Jackson said in all the 14 years he has served our country, this experience was a first.

“It’s different to actually I guess see the effect of driving out to the different homes, and like handing out their lunches, and seeing the kids, and interacting with the community, a lot more,” Jackson expressed.

The Bladen County School Board realized how much more effective they would be if they reached out for help.

County Emergency Director Nathan Dowless said the service members know what to do in hard times.

“They do things like this. Help serve meals, but they’re instrumental to us in storms and things also. We get supplies where they need to go, rescue operations, things like that,” Dowless said. “They have a lot of equipment and experience that we don’t have that we’re not privy to or trained on.”

Student Duenta Travis who also wants to serve our country someday said these connections remind him that heros really do exist, and he is thankful to see them everyday.

“It encourages me to help other people in life who are going through things in life,” Travis said.

The Guard will finish their service with Bladen County Schools Friday.