Acts of Kindness

Bus driver refuses to let kids go hungry when school is delayed

September 17th, 2020

Everybody loves a snow day – or even a delay!

Well, except the adults.

But what many of us don’t realize is that while nearly every kid likes a day off, school is often a source of safety and other basic needs that not everyone reliably gets at home.

Wayne Price knows that. When he made the news for saving the day for a bunch of his kids in late 2018, he had been a school bus driver for 5 years.

On December 11th, the week before schools closed for winter break in Montevallo, Alabama, he got a call about a 2-hour weather delay.

The roads were icy and there was fog. It wouldn’t be safe to transport students.

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Wikimedia Commons Source: Wikimedia Commons

But he also knew that it meant many of those kids would not have access to the breakfast they got in the school’s cafeteria.

At Montevallo Elementary School alone, 75% of students participate in the federal National School Lunch Program that ensures kids from low-income families get a free or reduced-price breakfast and lunch.

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Shelby County Schools Source: Shelby County Schools

Kids can’t learn properly when they’re hungry, so it’s pointless to force them into a classroom when they haven’t eaten.

Price knew that and he couldn’t get the thought of the elementary, middle, and high school students he knew going without breakfast.

“For a lot of students that means that they won’t get to eat,” Allison Campbell, Principal of Montevello Elementary, told TODAY Food. “It speaks volumes to [Price’s] character that he was attune to that.”

So what did he do? He decided to make sure breakfast would be available ON the bus and that kids would show up with food in their bellies.

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YouTube Screenshot - WVTM 13 News Source: YouTube Screenshot - WVTM 13 News

He headed to McDonald’s and grabbed a biscuit for himself and every last one of the students he would drive to school that day.

“When I got to McDonald’s, I asked the manager, ‘Can you turn around 50 biscuits in 15 minutes and can you give me as good of a deal as possible?’ He gave me a dollar deal and we just turned it around,” Price told TODAY Food. “They really hustled with other customers in the store and I walked out with a box load of biscuits for my kids.”

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Pixabay Source: Pixabay

When asked about the act of generosity, Price referred to his faith.

“I’m driven by faith and Christ,” he said.

Formerly the owner of a contracting company, he closed his business in 2003 to serve with a Youth Ministry. Even after becoming a bus driver, he continued to work with local churches and serve as a mentor to various youth groups.

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YouTube Screenshot - WVTM 13 News Source: YouTube Screenshot - WVTM 13 News

“When the kids got on I said, ‘So, what do ya want? Sausage? McMuffin?” Price told TODAY Food with a hearty laugh. “I got some sweet kids and I get really attached to them … they were really appreciative. I dunno. I just love my kids. I got lots of fist pumps, lots of high-fives, lots of ‘Love you Mr. Price,’ lots of ‘Thank you Mr. Price.'”

And he got a lot more than thanks from the kids he fed.

According to TODAY Food, McDonald’s sent Price a handwritten thank you note with a $100 Arch Card and a $1,000 Visa gift card “to reward his kindness.” The owner of the McDonald’s location where Price bought the biscuits also provided him with coupons to feed his students again at some point in early 2019.

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Be sure to scroll down below to see an interview with the good samaritan.

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Source: TODAY Food, Feeding America, YouTube – WVTM 13 News