Zane Powles, an award-winning "hero" teacher from England, spent every day making food for his students during the pandemic. In the end, he had made and delivered 7,500 packed lunches.
Every morning, he would make 85 lunches out of fear that his students were having a problem getting access to food after the schools were shut down because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Every day, Powles walked for 7.5 miles. He made these rounds for 17 weeks.
He traveled over a distance of more than 600 miles during his meal deliveries in North East Lincolnshire.
Mr. Powles was 48 years old at the time, and by his estimates, he was able to carry about 4 tons of food during the period.
Later, he admitted that the effort was "well worth it." This was after he saw how happy the kids were with his generosity and sacrifice.
The Emotional Final Delivery
At school, he usually packs the lunches. The Friday afternoon on which he delivered his final food package was quite emotional:
"When I started these walks, I was concerned about the kids and their wellbeing and I wanted to make sure I could see them all."
Zane works at Western primary school in the large coastal seaport of Grimsby. His desire was to find out if the kids were safe, healthy, and had access to food.
After months of delivering the food, the final delivery was quite emotional for the teacher, as he loved checking on his students.
According to him, the effort he made was nothing out of the ordinary:
"I'm just doing my job at the end of the day. My role is to help nurture and educate children and to take care of them."
He had no idea how huge an impact his efforts would have, and he was also surprised to see how much he could accomplish. He hopes that the effort does not end there.
Mr. Powles is an early riser, and he would get to school at 7 am to start preparing and packaging the food. After that, he would start his daily two-hour journey.
Incredibly, he did not take any day off during the pandemic while doing this noble work.
As he delivered the meals, he also occasionally left the students with some homework. However, he admits that the students were "less keen" about the homework than the meals.
Mr. Powles is a father of three, and he is not afraid to admit that the job is a bit demanding and exhausting. However, he notes that it is well worth it:
"They're always so happy and grateful."
He was also appreciative of the support other people gave for such programs. In particular, he remembered Marcus Rashford, the Manchester United star player.
Rashford successfully campaigned for free school meal vouchers for children during the summer.
He Is About To Begin Another Charity Project
Mr. Powles insists that his mission is far from over, as he wants to keep helping out the kids in need.
Consequently, he will be cycling throughout UK's castles in a journey that will take him on a 1,500 miles trip.
His stops will include Edinburgh Castle, Belfast Castle, Dublin Castle, Cardiff Castle, and Tower of London. The purpose of this project will be to raise funds for Meals and More, a charity that offers support to children who live in poverty.
He explains that during the summertime, children suffer without people noticing. Consequently, he thinks people have a responsibility to ensure that they are safe.
The generosity Mr. Powles is showing is nothing new. He has a reputation for putting others first, and he even works as an assistant headteacher to deal with challenging students in the school's behavior unit.
For his efforts, he won the Inspirational Primary School Teacher award in 2019. A parent nominated him for the award, and eventually, he won it.
While at the award ceremony, he had this to say:
"We should never give up on children. Having a tough upbringing is never their fault."
Mr. Powles means what he says because he has walked the extra mile to ensure his students are fine wherever they are. The immense appreciation for his services is a clear indication that kids need someone to check on them even when they are not at school as they could be struggling with their basic needs such as food.