5th grade math teacher delivers 150 meals to students between classes online

In Holmes County, Mississippi, the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic poses a different, sinister threat: hunger. It's one of the poorest counties in the United States, according to recent data from the U.S. Census Bureau, with more than 33 per cent of the population living in poverty. Each child in the Holmes County Consolidated School District qualifies for free school meals – the only nutritious food some students get, Jaleel King, a 5th-grade math teacher at Goodman-Pickens Elementary School, tells PEOPLE. When the pandemic struck, forcing schools to temporarily close their doors, King, 27, sprung into action. Monday through Friday King drives around in a big yellow school bus, delivering breakfast and lunch to students, all in between teaching his daily classes online. His trips are part of a district-wide effort to feed students – they deliver 6,000 meals a day throughout the county, relying on a stockpile of food and a fleet of 70 buses. The delivery trips keep him in touch with students he no longer gets to see in his classroom. “I love my kids,” he adds. “I’m the ultimate high five and hug teacher, so not being able to do that is sad, but I just enjoy seeing their faces and helping out.”