Heroes Among Us: District Employee Works Hard Coordinating Meals
ST. CLOUD -- Every weekday, dozens of people wake up and head out the door to help deliver meals to St. Cloud's children by bus.
It's no easy feat, and Cheri Hoheisel says, thanks to Carrie Johnson, District 742's meal program is going swimmingly.
District 742's meal program is feeding thousands of kids every day. Staff operate three "Grab and Go" sites at Discovery, Madison and Talahi Elementary Schools, along with school bus deliveries to neighborhoods near all area schools, including Clearview and Kennedy.
The work is in Johnson's wheelhouse to begin with; her official title is District 742's Transportation Services Provider. And, when Governor Walz announced the plan to shut down Minnesota's schools, Johnson stepped to coordinate the citywide delivery effort.
"She said right away, she wanted this job," said Hoheisel. "She really wanted this to be her thing."
And it's a big task.
"Carrie is in charge of getting all the routes right, and making sure we hit all the neighborhoods that need (meals)," said Hoheisel, who is also a meals volunteer. "She makes sure we have enough food on the buses. If we run out, we get in touch with her to get it sent out to wherever we're at.
Hoheisel estimates the district served just under 3,000 meals on Tuesday. She says Johnson remains high-energy, positive and helpful, even when the work becomes stressful or problems arise.
"You know, things are just changing constantly," Hoheisel said. "And she comes in every day, she takes it all in stride. She comes in like a little cheerleader, a little firecracker, every morning."