Lunch Bus intern Dalila Ramos and volunteer driver Nancy Trevarthen-Hodges distributing lunches at Miami Park in the Little Village neighborhood.

The Lunch Bus is all about teamwork.  I am the intern on the Lunch Bus Southwest route – one of three routes throughout Cook County.  We deliver more than 400 lunches a day to children in the Little Village, Brighton Park, New City, West Englewood and Douglas neighborhoods.  The bus route is very busy and I couldn’t do it without the help of the Lunch Bus drivers.

I work with five volunteers who each come in once a week to drive the Lunch Bus.   Early in the morning, Monday through Friday, the volunteers meet me at the Greater Chicago Food Depository where we make sure the refrigerated van is all stocked and then we head out to our seven stops. 

Children lined up for the Lunch Bus at Good Shepherd Parish in the Little Village neighborhood.

When we arrive at each site, the volunteer driver sets up a white table we use for the kids to sign in and to distribute the lunches. The children form a line in front of the table. I have a binder with attendance and meal count sheets.  Every child must sign in and I count every meal that is given out.  The process is really efficient because we only have 20 minutes to serve everyone and some sites can have 100 or more kids. 

I have really enjoyed being a Lunch Bus intern this summer.  It has been a fun and rewarding experience to be around the kids, talk with them and have them tell me their stories. Seeing their smiling faces every day lets me know all of our hard work is worth it.

Lunch Bus intern Dalila Ramos is currently a senior at the University of Illinois at Chicago where she is majoring in Applied Psychology.

For more information on the Food Depository’s children’s programs, visit chicagosfoodbank.org or call 773-247-FOOD.

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