In the heart of Grimsby, England, the halls of Western Primary School may be silent, but the spirit of kindness echoes loud and clear, carried by one remarkable assistant headteacher, Zane Powles.

As the world grappled with the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, Powles had become a beacon of hope, ensuring that no child went hungry during these uncertain times.

What a Teacher Did When Schools Closed

kids working in a school

When the news of school closures broke, Powles, recognizing the potential impact on students who relied on school meals, knew action was needed. “My first thought was, how are we going to get our children meals? We have vulnerable families that need help, so we had to come up with a plan,” he shared in an interview.

With logistical challenges preventing the school from distributing state-sponsored meals and families hesitant to leave their homes, Powles took matters into his own hands. Carrying a whopping 39 lbs. of packed meals, he became a one-man delivery service, navigating the neighborhoods to ensure no child missed a meal.

But Powles brought more than just sustenance. Alongside the food packs prepared by the school’s kitchen staff, he delivered homework for the students, a valuable connection to their academic routine amid the pandemic. Beyond the academic aspect, these visits allowed Powles to personally observe his students, tracking their progress and gauging how they were handling the challenges of these trying times.

“One of the students rushed to the door with his parents the other day and goes, ‘Mr. Powles is here, he’s saved the world,’ which was lovely to hear,” Powles shared with enthusiasm. The impact of his efforts was not lost on the parents and children. The joy and relief were visible on their faces, a testament to the significance of his deliveries.

How One Teacher Was a Beacon of Hope

Powles’ commitment sparked a ripple effect. Inspired by his dedication, Headteacher Kim Leach, another faculty member, joined the cause, delivering 25 lunches to students living farther from the school.

The collaboration extended beyond meal deliveries; teachers regularly checked in on students and their families, turning the school community into a support network during these challenging times.

Despite the physical strain of delivering packed meals to numerous households, the exhaustion fades when met with the gratitude and smiles of the families he visits. Powles and his fellow teachers have transformed the pandemic’s burdens into a shared effort, reminding us that even in the face of adversity, the strength of a community shines brightest.

Through Powles and his colleagues, Western Primary School isn’t just a place of education; it’s a beacon of resilience, compassion, and unwavering support. The message is clear: no child will be left hungry or unsupported on their educational journey.