An assistant headteacher at Western Primary School in Grimsby, Lincolnshire is doing what he can to make sure his students feel the love they deserve every day. As student starts staying home due to the coronavirus, some might not be returning until next year, which is why this teacher wanted to do an act of kindness that will remind them that teachers will always be there for them despite the hard situations. What does he do? Well, he ensures that the students have access to the free school meals they deserve by walking more than 5 miles every day to deliver their food.
Zane Powles hauls several rucksacks filled with packed school lunches that weigh more than 18kg and homework for at least 78 students each day! The former soldier, who was part of the Grenadier Guards, also uses his daily lunch runs to check on the welfare of the children he visits. Basically, to make sure he remains within social distance guidelines, the local hero puts the packed lunch on the doorstep, knocks, and waits on their sidewalk until he sees the lunch is picked up.
Headteacher Kim Leach and another teacher also take turns during their daily rounds to take an additional 25 lunches by car to the families who live further, trailing a 15-mile round trip every day on the empty streets. So why are they doing this? Well, nearly forty-one percent of children at the Western Primary School are entitled to free school meals. According to End Child Poverty, in Grimsby, there re over 34 percent of children who are in poverty.
The primary school teacher stated the response he has received to the daily lunches has been humbling and brilliant, and several parents of the children have been very grateful for the “adult contact.” Because well, I’m pretty sure that they need that extra adult face to make sure they stay sane. There are only so many conversations a 30-year-old can have with a 12-year-old.
Powles told Sky News, “The parents and children come to the window or the door to wave and say hello, some of the parents want to have a little chat – I think I’m the only adult contact they get to talk to some days. I’m usually quite a private person, so all the attention is kind of embarrassing, but we’re all just doing our job – the welfare of our students is our top priority and we’re just doing the best we can.”
He also noted the teachers who help deliver the free meals make sure to call the families once a week to help them and make sure they are doing okay, letting them know they are on their way. This also allows teachers to make sure their students are doing well under lockdown, and answer any questions they might have. Sounds to me like the world needs more teachers like this, well done Mr Powles!