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AFSCME Members Help Make the Wheels of a Unique Bus Go Round

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AFSCME Members Help Make the Wheels of a Unique Bus Go Round
AFSCME International Vice President and Local 199 President Se’Adoreia Brown poses in front of the newly unveiled school bus filled with food items. (Photo by: Mark McCullough)

A unique school bus started visiting South Florida schools last week, and AFSCME members helped make it possible.

The Mobile School Pantry is distributing food to children and families in need. The bus – partially funded by AFSCME members – is helping students concentrate on their school work instead of their hunger.

“It is really impressive to see how, with the right vision, something we see every day like a school bus can be remade and used for such a powerful purpose,” said AFSCME International Vice President and Local 199 President Se’Adoreia Brown. 

Brown attended the unveiling event for the bus last week on behalf of AFSCME members.

“Food is a … school supply,” said Zeina Zein-Wolland, founder of the nonprofit that’s running the program to get the bus to schools in “food deserts,” or areas that lack easy access to grocery stores.

“Families are able to come straight to their school when they're already there. They don't have to drive that extra mile to get to a food pantry, or to get to a store,” Zein-Wolland added. “They can just come straight to their school where they're picking up their child, and they can also shop at the same time and take home food with them that they wouldn't have otherwise gotten.”

Mobile School Pantry is reliant on community support from groups like AFSCME, local farms, grocery stores and grant monies to fund the program.

The more people know about the Mobile School Pantry, the stronger the project’s impact will be on South Florida, Brown said.

“After seeing how far they have come and the impact they are already having, I truly believe that we're going to see them add more capacity until one day every school in Broward and Miami-Dade counties has been visited by this awesome bus,” she said.