We’re All in This Together

By: Taylor Slone, EKU social work student

Very little in the world looks like it did just a few short weeks ago. Streets are empty and stores are dark. Classrooms are empty as well, but there are still some who show up at local schools each day to continue serving a student population that has been sent home to do their learning remotely. In the Letcher County School District, those who show up include principals, secretaries, cafeteria workers, bus drivers and resource workers.

In the Letcher County School system, over 75 percent of students qualify for free and/or reduced lunch. Food insecurity is more than terminology here. During the school year, most of our students eat breakfast and lunch in the cafeteria. There are weekend and summer feeding programs available as well. During this time of pandemic, the above mentioned staff come together to prepare and deliver lunches to students along regular bus routes Monday through Friday. On Fridays, additional bags are packed with food supplies for the weekends. These meals are free to anyone waiting at the bus stops.

Not all of the people who participate in this lunch program are “social workers”. As I said, some are bus drivers, cooks, and resource workers. Some are social work students, such as myself.  But we are each practicing the value that in my opinion is the heart of social work. The value of “Service”. The NASW Code of Ethics’ first ethical principle addressing the value of service is that “Social worker’s primary goal is to help people in need……” (NASW, 2020). That is what is going on every day in the Letcher County School District during these trying and frightening times, with the hot lunch program being just one way that we are all here for each other. So, in some ways from bus drivers to FRYSC workers, we are all acting, in some small way, as social workers. We are all in this together.

NASW. (2020). Code of ethics. Retrieved from: https://www.socialworkers.org/about/ethics/code-of-ethics/code-of-ethics-english.

Published on April 02, 2020