Oakland OUSD Nutrition Services Team Surpasses 10,000,000 Student Meals in Supporting Student Health & Well-Being, Plus Nearly 3,000,000 Pounds of Food from ACCFB
Team Receives Assist from Alameda County Dental Society
Oakland – As the Nutrition Services Team in Oakland Unified School District continues to support thousands of students across the city with healthy and nutritious meals everyday, their work has reached an incredible milestone. Since the first day of campus closures last year, which was March 16, the team distributed 10,145,937 breakfast, lunch and supper meals through the end of last month.
“We had no idea back then that our closures would last this long, but that didn’t stop our remarkable Nutrition Services Team from completely transforming their system to support our students for the long haul,” said Superintendent Kyla Johnson-Trammell. “Like you, I am sad that our campuses have been closed this long, but I know we could not have done all that we have, and our students and families would not have received the food they need, without the heroic efforts of everyone in Nutrition Services and all our other staff and volunteers who made this happen over the past year. I salute the entire team.”
OUSD is also thanking the Alameda County Community Food Bank (ACCFB), which has been a critical partner throughout this effort. We are now closing in on another remarkable milestone: three million pounds of food provided to OUSD families during COVID through the partnership. OUSD Executive Director of Nutrition Services, Irene Reynolds, said, “the partnership has been invaluable for helping to get nutritious food to our families over the past year. Thousands of families have depended on ACCFB for canned goods, grains, fresh produce and other items during this incredibly challenging period in which many have lost jobs and income. Of course, we need to keep our students fed, but their families need help, too. This milestone is both amazing and heartbreaking: 3,000,000 pounds of food to OUSD families, on top of ten million student meals. We can’t thank the Food Bank enough for all the support they have given our community.”
With all the food getting to our students and families, dental care is also something to focus on, and now, the District is receiving support from the Alameda County Dental Society (ACDS), which donated 2,000 toothbrushes over the past month. Most went directly to several schools from ACDS, which were Sankofa United Elementary, Elmhurst United Middle, Global Family Elementary and Downtown Charter Academy last month to celebrate National Children’s Dental Health Month. The remaining toothbrushes were delivered to the Central Kitchen and forwarded to West Oakland Middle School for distribution this week in meal boxes.
Packaged with student meals.
Due to school closures and pandemic related restrictions, the members of ACDS have been unable to provide oral health screenings as would otherwise be planned. Even though most dental practices have now reopened, access remains an issue. An undiagnosed cavity in March 2020 could now turn into something more serious. The toothbrushes were purchased by the ACDS Dental Foundation and oral health education pamphlets were provided by the Office of Dental Health in Spanish, Cantonese and English.
ACDS hopes the toothbrushes and education pamphlets will serve as good reminders to children and families that maintaining good oral health is important during these challenging times. “Alameda County Dental Society was pleased to partner with OUSD for Children’s Dental Health Month to donate dental kits to ensure that children and families have the needed information and materials to continue to make dental health a priority,” said Dr. Jared Fine, Member of the ACDS Board.
OUSD thanks the Alameda County Dental Society for supporting our students and their families, and for the important reminder for all of us to maintain good dental health.
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