By Genny Glassman
A 9-year-old boy and his classmates at Sierra Vista K-8 School in Vacaville, California, wanted to bring chocolate milk back to the school lunch menu — and they were willing to fight to make it happen. Fourth grader Jordan Reed led the protest on February 4 to bring the drink back to lunchtime. And after students used their voices to encourage the school to make the change — they won.
Source: 9-Year-Old Wins Protest Against School’s Lunch Menu — ‘What Do We Want? Chocolate Milk!’ | CafeMom.com
By Nick Mordowanec
A group of students were not happy with their school district’s recent decision to remove chocolate milk from the lunch menu, so they galvanized and staged their own outdoor protest.
The group effort worked to bring chocolate milk back, albeit in a very limited capacity.
The student body backlash took place last Friday at Sierra Vista K-8, part of the Vacaville Unified School District in Vacaville, California.
Source: Students Protest Removal of Chocolate Milk From School Lunch Menu
State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond today announced that applications are available for the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) and Seamless Summer Option (SSO), both federally funded, state-administered programs that serve free meals to children eighteen and younger when school is out of session. Summer meals provide children with access to essential nutrition during school closures and the summer break.
Summer meal programs have provided children with essential meal service throughout the pandemic. From January 2021 through November 2021, nutrition programs including SFSP and SSO have provided more than 967 million meals to children throughout the state.
“Our summer meal sponsors were critical in allowing us to meet the demands brought on by the COVID crisis, and I commend our school districts and other organizations that made these meals possible,” Thurmond said. “The ability to feed the most vulnerable kids throughout the state, in multiple locations, would not be possible if these organizations did not participate.”
Source: Applications for Free Summer Meal Programs – Year 2022 (CA Dept of Education)
By Matt Miller
The Vacaville School District is testing out a new pilot program this school year that allows any high school student who chooses to do so to leave campus during the lunch hour.
All secondary schools are continuing to offer free lunches on campus and many students are taking advantage of that opportunity, school district officials report. But allowing students to leave, if they choose, makes for quicker food distribution on campus and more adequate physical spacing to deal with Covid-19 concerns, school officials said.
“It’s been so far, so good,” said Ed Santopadre, assistant superintendent for education services. “We haven’t compared any of the data yet, but I think they are starting to figure out if they want to go off-campus or stay for the free lunch.”
Source: Vaca district tests open lunch policy for all high schoolers
Effective for the 2021-22 school year, Travis Unified School District will serve meals at no charge to enrolled students.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has approved use of the Seamless Summer Option (SSO), which allows local school districts to provide no-cost meals to all enrolled students for the duration of the 2021-22 school year.
The income survey, found on Titan, allows the district to receive funding that provides access to programs and services to help children better succeed. These programs include, but are not limited to, pandemic EBT, reduced/free bus passes, reduced/free AP testing at Vanden and letters available for reduced internet eligibility.
Source: Travis Unified School District to stop charging for student meals – The Vacaville Reporter
By Ali Tadayon, EdSource
With 1 in every 6 children facing hunger in the U.S., California is the first state to promise every public school student — all 6 million of them — free school meals.
The universal school meals program, which will launch in the 2022-2023 school year, is part of the landmark state budget agreement reached between Gov. Gavin Newsom and the Legislature last month. Days later, Maine became the second state to commit to offering a universal school meals program with the signing of its budget.
The program ensures that all students will be offered breakfast and lunch at their school, which state Sen. Nancy Skinner, D-Berkeley, said is “essential to learning.” Skinner has led the effort to establish a universal school meal program.
Source: Free school meals for all here to stay in California – The Vacaville Reporter
The Vacaville School District is offering free meals through its Summer Feeding Plan to anyone 18 and under.
No IDs are required. Meals will be distributed on-site daily (masks are required) or with a weekly box service at selected locations.
Those students who visit the daily site will receive a hot lunch and a breakfast for the next morning.
Each weekly box contains various options for students to try, containing fruits, vegetables and more. An adult might need to help prepare some items in the box.
Source: Vacaville School District offers free summer meals
By Leticia Ordaz
The Vacaville Unified School District is not back for in-person learning yet, but schools are still serving up thousands of meals, twice a day. And a new food program is proving to be a big hit with students.
School officials at Willis Jepson Middle School on Wednesday are handing out meals with recipes that some kids said is tastier than mom’s cooking. The secret is everything is made from scratch for both breakfast and lunch.
School officials said the new menu change is important because nearly half of the student population is considered low income and qualifies for free or reduced meals.
Source: Better than mom’s? New food program in Vacaville is a hit with students
By Nick Sestanovich
The past seven months have not been easy for Foxboro Elementary School students. Like all pupils in the era of COVID-19, they have spent nearly all of their time at home with some only visiting campus to pick up lunches.
But those who do pick up lunches get very spirited greetings from the school’s classified employees. One employee has even taken it upon herself to write letters to every single Foxboro student.
“The kids miss being at school, (and) we miss them,” Trisha Carr, the school’s library media technician, said.
Source: Coronavirus: Classified Foxboro employees cheer on students – The Reporter
When the COVID-19 pandemic hit in March, schools were scrambling to keep lunch and breakfast available to students through pick up options at one school site. While some students were still able to utilize this valuable resource, some did not have transportation or means to get there, leaving much of the food to go to waste each day.For now, the program remains free to all students. Robert Semple Elementary parents Tawnya Cassidy and Diederich Burton saw the need for students to receive these important meals and stepped up to serve as delivery drivers to help, forming the Facebook group Benicia Schools Volunteer Food Delivery Services.
Source: Benicia Schools Volunteer Food Delivery Services need drivers
BY Kimberly K. Fu
The Fairfield-Suisun Unified School District is providing free lunches to kids 18 and under throughout the summer.
Lunch will be served from Monday to Friday (unless otherwise noted and except on July 3) at the following locations:
- Crystal Middle School, 400 Whispering Bay Lane, Suisun, noon-1 p.m. through Aug. 8
- Grange Middle School, 1975 Blossom Ave., Fairfield, noon-1 p.m. through Aug. 8
Source: Fairfield-Suisun offers kids summertime meals – The Reporter
By Peter Fornier
There’s one thing Travis School District officials may miss most at the end of year: their lunch money.
The district’s cafeteria fund was among several discussed during Tuesday night’s virtual school board meeting, which saw a review of the district’s third interim budget report. The report includes projections, as of April 30, for the current school year.
Source: Travis School District cafeteria fund nears zero amid school shutdowns
By Al Tadayon
As thousands of parents struggle to put food on the table during the coronavirus pandemic, California food banks are partnering with schools to feed children, as well as their families.
With schools shut down across the state, districts are serving “grab and go” meals to students in an effort to stop the coronavirus spread. Many have also allowed food banks to distribute boxes of groceries at the school sites. The largest effort is underway at the Los Angeles Unified School District, which has partnered with star chef Jose Andres and other organizations to provide meals for both students and their parents.
“We know entire families are going hungry, so when families are going to the school district, there may be others in the household who need food as well,” said Andrew Cheyne, director of government affairs for the California Association of Food Banks. “Schools in this environment have become a bright spot — they are known, trusted, highly accessible locations that families are used to visiting.”
Source: California food banks partner with schools to serve families of students during pandemic – Times-Herald
State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond announced today that the California Department of Education’s (CDE) “CA Meals for Kids” mobile app has been updated to help students and families find meals during COVID-19-related emergency school closures.
“Food insecurity is a daily struggle for some of our students and their families and that struggle is even more difficult and complicated during the current COVID-19 emergency we’re all facing,” said Thurmond. “I’d like to thank the Nutrition Services Division, the Technology Services Division, and all CDE staff who worked on updating the app—and the hard-working school nutrition staff around the state who have heroically continued working, and who are continuing to serve our students during this unprecedented emergency situation.”
Source: CA Meals for Kids App Update – Year 2020 (CA Dept of Education)
By Richard Bammer
Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, as many other state and U.S. school districts are doing, Fairfield-Suisun Unified is pitching in, too, scrambling to feed students after state-mandated school closures.
In a press release issued Thursday, district leaders announced they have begun to serve breakfast and lunches to children ranging in age from newborns to 18 at seven school sites: Cleo Gordon Elementary, Fairfield High, Fairview Elementary, Grange Middle, Suisun Elementary, Crystal Middle School, and David A. Weir Preparatory Academy.
Source: Coronavirus: FSUSD pitches in with free meals for children amid latest pandemic – The Reporter
By Thomas Gase
There was no hoarding or long lines. And no, there wasn’t any toilet paper, sanitary supplies or soap.
However, there was a ton of food and it was free thanks to the Vallejo City Unified School District, which, along with shelf stable provisions donated by the Food Bank, is providing for families in need during the COVID-19 outbreak.
Meals and provisions will be provided on a first-come, first-serve basis for breakfast and lunch in a “grab-and-go” routine from 8 to 9 a.m. for breakfast and 11 a.m. to noon for lunch.
Source: In a crisis, Vallejo schools providing free meals – Times-Herald
By Nick Sestanovich
School in Vacaville may be out through at least March 27 due to the coronavirus, but the Vacaville Unified School District is continuing to ensure its students are not only well-fed but also well-equipped to continue learning.
Beginning Monday, VUSD has been dishing out free breakfasts and lunches at four of its sites to all its students. They also provided free school supplies and classwork.
For breakfast, students got to come with a variety of healthy options, including cereal, granola, yogurt parfait, a muffin or a bagel with cream cheese. For lunch, options included pizza, cheeseburgers, deli sandwiches with turkey and cheese, bean burritos and Caesar salad. All meals also came with fruit, vegetable and milk and were provided by each school’s food services staff.
Source: Coronavirus: Vacaville schools hand out free meals, supplies during closures – The Reporter
By John Glidden
Although Vallejo schools are closed, the district will continue to provide meals “to all students who need them,” District Superintendent Adam Clark announced on Monday.
Starting Wednesday, the Vallejo City Unified School District will begin offering “grab and go” breakfast and lunch meals at five different Vallejo school sites.
- Loma Vista Environmental Science Academy, 146 Rainier St. Meals will be served at the entrance doors to the cafeteria.
- Federal Terrace Elementary School, 415 Daniels Avenue. Meals at the entrance doors to the cafeteria.
- Lincoln Elementary School, 620 Carolina St. Meals outside of the cafeteria.
- Hogan Middle School, 850 Rosewood Avenue. Meals at the side cafeteria doors facing Georgia Street.
- Jesse Bethel High School, 1800 Ascot Parkway. Meals in the parking lot near the cafeteria/student union.
Source: Vallejo school district still offering food to students – Times-Herald
The California Department of Education (CDE) has received a special waiver called CA COVID19 from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) that will enable a school district that had previously been approved to operate the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) or Seamless Summer Option (SSO) to provide meals to students during a coronavirus-related closure.
SFSP and SSO are both federally funded and state-administered programs that serve free meals to children eighteen and younger when school is not in session and in communities where 50 percent or more of the students quality for free and reduced-priced meals.
“When a school or district closes, our first concern is the safety and care of our students,” said California State Superintendent Tony Thurmond. “Our Nutrition Services Division was proactive in reaching out to the USDA to request the necessary approval in anticipation of local educational agencies potentially having to close due to the coronavirus. That advanced planning, combined with the rapid response from the USDA, will allow districts to continue to provide their most vulnerable students with nutritious meals in the event of a closure.”
Source: USDA COVID19 Waiver – Year 2020 (CA Dept of Education)
By Tim Goree
CDE indicates all review areas are in compliance and no response is required.
[Fairfield, CA], [March 6, 2020]: The Seamless Summer Option (SSO) allows sponsors to operate an open community meal site using the National School Lunch Program’s (NSLP) administrative and monitoring requirements. The purpose of the SSO is to assist traditional and year-round schools to make nutritious meals more accessible to children.
Representatives from the California Department of Education (CDE) conducted an Administrative review of Fairfield-Suisun Unified School District’s Seamless Summer Feeding Option for the month of June 2019, and all review areas are in compliance. Once again, FSUSD excels when its operational processes are scrutinized.
Source: Press Release: Positive Outcome from Another FSUSD Compliance Review