Oakland, CA – On Monday, April 27, the thirteenth day of free meal service for students across OUSD during the coronavirus pandemic, nutrition services staff handed out the one millionth meal to a family in need. The total student meals distributed through the program now stands at 1,084,589.
Each Monday and Thursday since all District schools were shut down on March 16 because of the pandemic, nutrition services staff, District staff, school staff and volunteers have handed out bags of meals to families for all OUSD students and all Oakland children 18 years old and younger. The distribution happens at 12 school sites across the city. For each student whose family visits a site on Mondays, the family receives a bag full of nine meals, one breakfast, one lunch and one supper for each day Monday through Wednesday. On Thursdays, it’s three meals per day for Thursday and Friday.
On Mondays, the distribution hands out as many as 110,000 meals and on Thursdays it’s about 75,000 meals. The families of up to 14,000 students have been coming to the sites to receive the food, and because of support of the World Central Kitchen, they also receive adult meals. Additionally, families have been able to pick up groceries and fresh fruits and vegetables from the Alameda County Community Food Bank.
Food is far from all that’s been available. The sites also have been distributing diapers, feminine hygiene products, pet food, children’s books, art supplies, live plants for aspiring gardeners, homework packets, and literature and grocery bags reminding everyone to fill out the 2020 Census. The Golden State Warriors, Klay Thomson’s Thompson Family Foundation and Stephen and Ayesha Curry’s Eat. Learn. Play. Foundation have all supported the effort, as have SupplyBank.org, Numi Tea, the U.C. Master Gardener Program, the organization Help a Mother Out, the organization No Kid Hungry, the Oakland Athletics, the Berkeley Humane Society, and the Oakland Public Education Fund, among others.
With the help of children’s ride share service, Zum, dozens of families who cannot make it to the Grab and Go sites because of lack of transportation or other reasons, are receiving the meals delivered to their homes. On Monday, after learning that parents in two different families at Global Family Elementary School have tested positive for Covid-19, nutrition services staff delivered meals to the school principal who delivered them to the families.
“This pandemic and shelter in place order have made life difficult for all of us, but it is exponentially worse for our neediest families,” said Superintendent Kyla Johnson-Trammell. “More than 70% of our families qualify for free and reduced price lunches when the economy is open and thriving. But since the shutdown, thousands of our families have lost income. Our Grab and Go meal service is providing critical support that ensures our students are able to eat nutritious food and our families have other necessities. I applaud and thank our staff and volunteers for serving the one millionth meal in a program that, in this time of crisis, is a model for school districts across the country.”
Any family in need that has yet to visit a Grab and Go meal site is encouraged to come to one of the 12 sites across the city for free meals. For a list of locations and more information, please visit our website here. To protect everyone’s health, all families are asked to wear masks or other face coverings when they come to pick up food. Children need not be present for their families to receive the meals.
About the Oakland Unified School District
In California’s most diverse city, Oakland Unified School District (OUSD) is dedicated to creating a learning environment where “Every Student Thrives!” More than half of our students speak a non-English language at home. And each of our 83 schools is staffed with talented individuals uniting around a common set of values: Students First, Equity, Excellence, Integrity, Cultural Responsiveness and Joy. We are committed to preparing all students for college, career and community success.
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This post based on press release to Zennie62Media from OUSD.
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