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Bus driver shortage no match for ESASD food program

A bus driver shortage forced East Stroudsburg Area School District to get creative to continue its weekly food drop off to students.

EAST STROUDSBURG, Pa. — Twice a week, as the pandemic continues, food is delivered to students in need who go to the East Stroudsburg Area School District.

This week's snowstorm created a drop-off schedule mess and left the district with a bus driver shortage.

"We have a shortage of drivers, personnel that isn't coming in or aren't able to get in. We aren't going to let our families down, and we are going to go out and deliver some meals," said East Stroudsburg Area Superintendent William Riker.

Instead of canceling the drop-offs for this week, district officials got a little creative.

Riker decided he would hop on a bus and deliver the food himself.

As for who drove the bus? The director of administrative services happens to have a CDL license.

"We are just one of many deliveries. I think we do 16 different routes every time we do a meal delivery. We are just doing one of those. I think our families are very appreciative, and we are happy to do it," said Riker.

District officials tell Newswatch 16 these meals are important to families, so they are doing all it takes to ensure the students are fed.

Diana Rampersad and her daughter were outside shoveling snow when the bus filled with food pulled up. They are grateful the district found a way to get meals out to families.

"This was very important. We haven't been able to make it to the grocery store and stuff, so thank you again," said Rampersad.

"We are just living in hard times," said Leighanna Pampersand, ESASD student.

The East Stroudsburg Area School District plans to go back to its regular scheduled food drop-offs next Monday and Wednesday, weather permitting.