LAUSD to Provide Students with Free Meals This Summer

LOS ANGELES (June 4, 2015) – Officials from the Los Angeles Unified School District Food Services Division today announced its summer meal services program.

The District is working toward making sure that no students in the community go hungry when schools close for the summer. More than 520,000 students in L.A. Unified qualify for free or reduced-price meals during the school year, but many lack nourishment when the school year ends. The Summer Food Service Program ensures that all children continue to benefit during the summer from good nutrition.

“Our summer meals program is a building block in the community leading to healthy, happy youngsters who are ready to learn,” said Superintendent Ramon C. Cortines. “Our responsibility to our students doesn’t end when school lets out. Boys and girls who get enough to eat and have safe activities to participate in during the summer are less likely to get into trouble.”

The Food Services Division, in collaboration with the Beyond The Bell Branch, the District’s afterschool program, will operate the summer food program at 301 sites (see attached current list). Anyone between the ages of 1 and 18 may receive free meals. The District also is partnering with the city of Los Angeles - Recreation and Parks Department to provide meals at 106 additional sites.

“Many of our students, who rely on school lunch during the school year, cannot continue to develop both physically and cognitively if they do not receive the proper nutrition. That’s where we come in, by providing a nutritious meal to keep kids nourished and healthy during the long summer months,” said Food Services Interim Co-Director Laura Benavidez.

Timikel Sharpe, the interim co-director, for Food Services added: “Food insecurity is a growing issue and we at LAUSD are not exempt. As a school district that encompasses such a large geographical area we have thousands of students each day who rely on the breakfast, lunch and suppers to sustain them.”

For the majority of participating schools, the summer program runs from June 15 through July 24. Depending on participation, the program may be extended at select schools.
The program is operated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and administered by the California Department of Education. For more information about the summer food program, contact the Food Services Division at 213-241-6419 or 213-241-6422.
                                                              # # #
Contact: Ellen Morgan (213) 241-6766