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AUSD Will Return to Free Meals; Community Pulls Together Food Distribution

  • Alhambra Police Chief Timothy Vu directs the next car to distribution station three. Photo by Helen Arase.

  • Cars queued up between Civic center and Alhambra High School for the Feed Alhambra food distribution. Photo by Helen Arase.

  • First Baptist Church of Alhambra Pastor Matt Barnes places food into a car during the Feed Alhambra distribution. Photo by Helen Arase.

  • Vehicles drove to the indicated stations with their trunks open for a contactless drop-off. Photo by Helen Arase.

  • Council member Adele Andrade-Stadler thanked participants and organizers for volunteering at the Feed Alhambra distribution. Photo by Helen Arase.

  • Buddhist Tzu Chi Foundation donated backpacks and school kits to the most in-need students and directed traffic at the end of the line of Feed Alhambra. Photo by Helen Arase.

Location

Alhambra , CA

Alhambra Unified School District will again serve meals to anyone under the age of 18, regardless of their enrollment in the district or family income.

Educators were previously told that the emergency waiver that allowed school districts to provide all children with free meals was not going to extend past July. San Gabriel Valley school districts with the most financially at-risk students joined the chorus calling for an extension, including AUSD.

This week, the U.S. Department of Agriculture extended the federal program through Dec. 31, 2020.

Alhambra Unified will begin its feeding to all children on Sept. 4.

The “Grab and Go” curbside distributions are at all school locations from noon to 1:30 p.m. on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

Each pickup has multiple breakfasts and lunches; the district will provide breakfast and lunch for five days. There are seven days of free suppers included for every school, except Brightwood and Monterey Highlands.

There is also a “Bus Stop School Meals” program, bringing food closer to some students, created out of concern for those who have to travel long distances from Rosemead to get to San Gabriel High School.

The bus stop distributions are also Monday, Wednesday and Friday, but from noon to 1:15 p.m. at seven locations.

Food and Nutrition Services has been working to diversify the menu. It has coordinated with Pick Up Stix to provide a microwave meal every other week and is working on securing other food retailers. See the September high school lunch menuSee the September elementary lunch menu.  See the September breakfast menu.

The district is putting together a plan to deliver food to Granada Elementary deaf and hard-of-hearing students.

Contact Food and Nutrition Services at 626-943-6590 or check the district website for updates.

Because this is a federal waiver, the district is required to randomly verify a certain number of recipients. The child does not need to be present, but be prepared with their student ID number, name of child or other basic information. Again, the child does not have to be an AUSD student.

Feed Alhambra

The announcement of free meals for students comes on the coattails of a massive effort to feed Alhambra and the surrounding community.

Major San Gabriel Valley institutions came together on Aug. 29 to help ease hunger and food insecurity. Many of those volunteering were students and teachers.

A well-choreographed assembly line of trunk opening, ushering and dropping of boxes, bags and diapers moved the line of cars down Second Street between Alhambra High School and City Hall, which has become the backdrop for Alhambra’s COVID-19 assistance response.

Volunteers allowed 10 cars at one time to pull up to the 10 spaces at the distribution tents with their trunks already open to encourage as much social distancing as possible.

Each car received four “kits” of meat/protein, cheese/dairy and fruits/vegetables, each portioned for one person. They were also asked if they were in need of diapers, donated by non-profit BABY2BABY, a mega diaper bank that supplies essentials to enfants and children in need.

When all trunks were loaded the next ten cars were shuffled into place.

Over 1,000 cars were served. No one was turned away, but supplies did run out. Turnout was so high at the start of the event that overflow traffic had to be turned down Atlantic Boulevard and eventually stretched to the 10 freeway, APD reported at the event.

The Feed Alhambra Committee was formed for this event, and included the Alhambra Teachers Association, First Baptist Church of Alhambra, Alhambra Unified School District and City of Alhambra departments.

Voice of Immigrant Students of Alhambra Boosters, also known as VISA Boosters, were also organizers of the event, and its students were integral in communicating with non-English speaking families.

Los Angeles Regional Food Bank donated 3,000 meal kits. Worldwide Produce, a L.A.-based produce and dairy distributor, gave a supplementary 300 kits donation.

The ATA accepted donations for the distribution throughout the month of August. Coupled with L.A. Food Bank and Worldwide Produce’s donation, the group created enough kits for roughly 4,000 meals, organizers told Alhambra Source.

Additional supplies and resources came from groups including AUSD, Alhambra Educational Foundation, Transtech Engineers, Alhambra Police and Fire departments, multiple City of Alhambra departments, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Republic Services and Valley Vista Services and the U.S. Census Bureau.

Tzu Chi distributed backpacks to families identified by Alhambra High School/AUSD’s Dream Center as most in need and kept traffic moving at the final steps of the distribution.

Thank you for reading our story! Alhambra Source is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. Our newsroom reports fact-based quality journalism that educates, informs and engages our diverse communities - with no paywall. Support our mission and donate today!

The Alhambra Source encourages comment on our stories. However, we do not vet comments for accuracy or endorse links to posts in the comment section. The thoughts and opinions expressed belong solely to the author of the comment.

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