LA Unified joins with city to serve healthy summer meals
Yana Gracile | June 6, 2014
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Now that school’s out for the summer, LA Unified is making sure students get at least one healthy and nutritious meal over the two-month break.
Officials from LA Unified’s Beyond the Bell program announced yesterday at the Lake Street Community Center that it has partnered with the city of Los Angeles for the first time to provide free meals to children up to 18 years old throughout the summer at expanded locations — a total of more than 4.5 million meals.
Through a program called “Food That’s In When School Is Out,” school district food services will be delivering the meals at more than 316 schools and 105 Los Angeles Recreation and Parks Centers between June 9 and Aug. 8.
More than 520,000 students in LAUSD qualify for free or reduced-price meals during the school year, but many do not get enough to eat during the summer when school is out, instead relying on junk food.
The new program ensures that low-income children get nutritious food, such as turkey and vegetable sandwiches and wholesome snacks like raisins, peanut butter, graham crackers and fruit. All they need is an appetite — no pens or pencils to fill out paperwork.
Tim Bower, LAUSD’s Beyond the Bell Executive Director, said the program will help children embrace the “healthy lifestyle.”
“A family’s income should not play a role in determining whether or not a child has access to a healthy lunch,” said Los Angeles City Councilman Mitch O’Farrell, adding, “Through this partnership, we are ensuring the best possible safety net that not only prevents hunger, but teaches nutrition and grows our good food economy.”