Bus drivers deliver meals to SC students amid coronavirus outbreak

DUNCAN, S.C. (WSPA/CNN) - A longtime school bus driver in South Carolina is among those delivering meals from the school district to her students after the coronavirus closed schools across the state.

Lisa Watson has been driving a bus for South Carolina’s Spartanburg School District 5 for 15 years. She is one of several drivers making sure students don't go hungry with schools closed. (Source: WSPA/CNN)

Lisa Watson has been driving a school bus for South Carolina’s Spartanburg School District 5 for 15 years. In fact, the parents of some of her current bus riders rode her bus when they were kids.

“I enjoy my ‘bus babies’ - that’s what I call them - just seeing them every morning,” Watson said.

When Watson learned schools across the state would be closed due to the coronavirus outbreak, she was worried.

“Are we going to be able to see our kids? Are we going to get a paycheck?” she wondered.

Luckily for Watson, she’ll get both because those in her school district realize the only meals some children get are the ones they get at school and have come up with a plan.

District employees pack breakfast and lunch bags and load them on to buses. Then, the bus drivers, like Watson, deliver the meals to students who need them. Forty buses delivered meals to close to 3,000 students Wednesday morning.

So, even though Watson’s bus has been extra quiet the past few days, she still gets to see her current bus babies.

"You get choked up," she said. "Pulling up at the bus stop and seeing those big, huge smiles and them knowing that they are getting food and, hopefully, because they're getting to see me, too."

Watson even gets to see some former bus babies, who say they’re forever grateful for her and the school district.

“My day started and ended with her. She’s just the best. I love her to pieces, and they love her just as much as I do,” parent Rachel McCoy said. “It does help a lot.”

The district says they plan to keep delivering meals as long as school is out. Those who don’t have a bus stop by their home can instead pick up meals for their kids.

At least three other districts in the state are also delivering meals to students.

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