San Diego Unified leaders thanked Congresswoman Susan Davis and other members of the San Diego federal delegation for their work to get the USDA to change course on planned cuts to the school lunch program.
Last week, the county’s largest school system warned against USDA plans to reduce food services, saying the move could leave families without enough to eat. The decision this morning out of Washington, D.C. means San Diego Unified and other districts will be able to continue providing added meal services to families during the COVID-19 crisis.
“The announcement this morning is an important victory for the families we serve,” Superintendent Cindy Marten said. “We are profoundly grateful for the support our students received throughout this process from Congresswoman Susan Davis and our entire San Diego delegation.”
Board Vice President Richard Barrera said the USDA decision announced this morning will protect local families who had been facing a severe reduction in the amount of food they received through the school lunch program.
“This was a misguided decision by the federal government to take food away from some of our most vulnerable families, and I am glad to see them reverse course,” Barrera said. “The COVID-19 crisis has put added burdens on all our families. The federal government should be increasing food aid to families, not cutting it.”
Board President John Lee Evans says he hopes the federal government will extend the new protections throughout the entire school year.
“Extending food support through the end of 2020 was a good and necessary first step,” Evans said. “Now it is time to take the next step and tell families they will not have to worry about this issue for the rest of the school year – through June.”
Families may drive through or walk up to any of the 82 meal pick-up locations throughout the district to receive a nutritious breakfast and lunch for their children. There is no cost and no paperwork. Meals are available Monday through Friday from noon to 2 p.m. Parents/guardians may pick-up meals for their children, however, a photo of the child must be shown if they are not present.
San Diego Unified will celebrate the start of the school meals program for the 2020-21 year with entertainment from the Fern Street Circus tomorrow, Sept. 1, at Porter North Elementary School during meal distribution from noon to 2 p.m. Feeding San Diego will also be at Porter providing boxes of food to families.