weather icon Clear

Nye School District officials introduce new summer food program bus

The Nye County School District has a new vehicle to serve in its Summer Food Service Program’s fleet.

The colorfully painted former school bus was recently converted to a literal ‘meals on wheels’ distribution vehicle for the program.

District officials got a firsthand look at the ‘Lunch Bunch Bus’ on Friday outside the school district office.

Superintendent Dale Norton said the delivery bus will replace the district’s mail vehicles, which previously provided the service.

“We converted it to a summer food program unit and this year, we are going to do it with our bus that you certainly can’t miss,” he said. “It is fully equipped for serving and meets all of the health requirements. I have to give thanks to our food service coordinator, Jodi Martinez, who put it all together and rolling it out. It’s going to be great.”

Martinez said the district created a pilot program using the mail delivery vehicles for the summer food program for the past two years.

The meals are prepared at Pahrump Valley High School and transported via the bus to stops in all areas of town.

The bus is equipped with refrigerated and heated cabinets, as well as a hand-washing sink.

The meals are boxed for the students’ convenience.

Martinez said more than 35,000 meals were served in the Pahrump attendance area last year.

“We found a lot of success with it and I wanted to come up with something that was on a larger scale because we keep doing more and more meals each year,” she lamented. “I met with transportation supervisor Cameron McRae and talked about doing a bus, and today here we are. It is now up and running.”

Additionally, Martinez made sure to point out the fiscal impact associated with the new vehicles.

She noted that the U.S. Department of Agriculture provides the district with meal reimbursements for each child during the summer food program.

Plans are also in the works for expanding the program to other southern Nye County areas.

“For the last six years since I’ve been the supervisor, we have been saving up and saving up while trying to get under budget so we can have a little extra in the till and we managed to get enough to pay for the bus,” she said. “In the future, the more meals we serve, the more reimbursements we will get from the USDA and we will be able to hopefully expand this.”

Martinez also said the bus makes several regular stops in neighborhoods around town.

All students 18 years and under will not be turned away.

“We go to the Courtyard Apartments on Dandelion Street, Comstock Park, Petrack Park, and Simkins Park on the north end of town,” she said. “We keep track of how many meals they serve. This is open to any child up to 18 years of age unless they are disabled. If they come to us in a wheelchair, then it’s whatever age. But 18 and under is the general age range.”

Norton meanwhile, mentioned an additional plus for the program, which involves the Pahrump Valley Youth Activities program, which returns again at the end of this month.

“That program provides meals which also count toward this program,” he said. “When we do that program, we are serving those kids who also count and we get reimbursed for that as well. Whatever we make off of that, we can expand the summer food program.”

During the summertime, Norton said the summer food program provides students with the only meals they will eat each week, when out of school, due to their parent or guardian’s financial situation.

For more information on the program, call Martinez at 775-727-7743 extension 260.

Contact reporter Selwyn Harris at sharris@pvtimes.com. On Twitter: @pvtimes

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
McConnell vowed to push Court nominee, but might not have votes

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, vowed to hold a vote on a replacement for deceased Supreme Court Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, but the big question is whether he has the votes to confirm a justice only six weeks before the presidential election.

Regents name Sandoval next president of UNR

The Nevada System of Higher Education Board of Regents on Thursday announced the appointment of former Gov. Brian Sandoval at the University of Nevada, Reno’s next president.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg dies at the age of 87

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg died Friday from complications from cancer, the Supreme Court announced.

Searchers find deceased hiker in Death Valley

A team of Death Valley National Park rangers and an Inyo County sheriff deputy located a deceased hiker on the morning of Sept. 7 roughly a mile from the Zabriskie Point trailhead.

Nevada reports 501 new cases of COVID-19

Nevada reported 501 new cases of COVID-19, COVID-19 Response Director Caleb Cage and Deputy Administrator of Community Health Services Julia Peek announced Friday at their daily teleconference with the media.

Hundreds remember Dusty Park at Pahrump Valley Speedway

It was billed as a Celebration of Life for Dusty Park, and much of the afternoon felt like a celebration. There was laughter and sharing stories among the several hundred people who gathered Sunday at Pahrump Valley Speedway to remember him.

Local RSVP program still active despite COVID-19

The Nevada Rural Counties Retired and Senior Volunteer Program in Pahrump is looking for a few good men and women to help provide services to area seniors.

Attorneys general enlisted in fight against youth suicide

Forty attorneys general across the nation, including Nevada’s Aaron Ford, are working with the Jason Foundation as ambassadors to address the public health issue of youth and young adult suicide.

Highway 160 southbound closed by morning crash

No serious injuries were reported following a two-vehicle crash at the intersection of state Route 160 and 372, just before 8:30 a.m., on Wednesday, Sept. 16.