When Montgomery County, Maryland, public schools closed in March because of the coronavirus pandemic, one kindergarten teacher in the county suspected students and their families would struggle to get enough meals.
So, for the past six months, Arcola Elementary School teacher Margaret Norris, along with a team of volunteers, has packed and delivered up to 150 bags of food per week for vulnerable students in Montgomery County.
“It’s been a community effort,” Norris said in an interview with CNN. “I have an army of volunteers that take 50-pound bags of beans and re-bag them all for me into quart-sized containers.”
Norris and other teachers have used their own money to shop and provide meals for local families. But Norris took to social media early on to seek donations, and that’s what allowed her to provide as many meals as she has.
Margaret Norris, an elementary school teacher from Maryland, packs more than 100 bags of food per week for families struggling to provide meals to children because of Covid-19.
“Children have to eat. … So, we have to get this food out there.” pic.twitter.com/uHBHnht0Q1
— The Lead CNN (@TheLeadCNN) September 7, 2020
“Donations have come in from the community, they’ve fallen off, it’s getting harder for everybody, but the donations are coming in strongly still and I’ve learned how to shop differently,” she said.
Norris said she has tried to stay close with local families even though she can’t see her students face to face.
“It’s just all so hard. I have one mom who has three sons and they are 8, 9 and 11 and she had a job but she couldn’t keep it because she couldn’t keep the children home alone all day,” Norris said. “Weeks ago she texted me and she said, ‘I don’t want you to do this any more because I’m so ashamed. I’m so ashamed that you’re spending your money to feed my children.'”
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