The Coast News Group
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Escondido school district providing free summer meals to kids

ESCONDIDO — Escondido Union High School District’s Nutrition Services program announced a summer meal plan in partnership with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food and Nutrition Service that will provide free meals to kids in Escondido.

The program, which started June 1, provides free breakfast and lunch to any child in the community 18 or under.

EUHSD Superintendent Dr. Anne Staffieri told The Coast News that 70% of student households in the district qualify for free or reduced lunch.

“EUHSD is committed to the safety and security of all students and their families,” Staffieri said. “Meal distribution is a critical service for the community.  With help from Student Nutrition staff and volunteers, the Summer Meal Program continues to be well received.”

Meals are distributed Mondays and Thursdays from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at Orange Glen, Escondido and San Pasqual high schools. A total of seven breakfasts and seven lunches are possible by participating in these two meal distributions per week.

Staff and volunteers hand out meals drive-through style and wear masks and gloves to keep families safe amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Summer feeding in Escondido Union High School District is already off to a strong start,” Staffieri said. “More than 1,500 students were served a three-day supply of breakfasts and lunches on Monday, June 1, and more than 2,300 students were served a four-day supply of breakfasts and lunches on Thursday, June 4.”

The new initiative comes after EUHSD wrapped up its recent meal distribution program that helped families during the campus closures due to COVID-19 in the months of March, April and May.tig

During that time, employees and volunteers provided meals to at least 2,800 children every weekday. In the first 13 days of the distribution, more than 46,000 meals were given out at all distribution sites combined.

With the need for consistent and nutritious meals still prevalent, the summer meals program aims to be an extension of the COVID-19 meal distribution efforts to assist in meeting food insecurity needs for students and families.

The summer meals program will continue through Aug. 7 and is available to all kids in the community.