San Jacinto USD receives $50K grant through Albertsons’ Nourishing Neighbors Community Relief

0
298
Watermelons from Harvest Produce in Riverside are featured for summer meal fun. Valley News/Courtesy photo

SAN JACINTO – The final summer community weekly meal distribution for San Jacinto Unified School District was Wednesday, Aug.12, with 451,704 meals served to children ages 0-18 from June 5 to Aug. 16. SJUSD received food assistance from Albertsons in San Jacinto and the Albertsons Companies Foundation to Help Feed Children and Families during Summer campaign with a $50,000 grant to help offset the costs. The campaign is part of Albertsons Nourishing Neighbors Community Relief initiative.

“We’ve been feeding children during the summer for several years, and many programs like ours experienced unprecedented demand as the pandemic continues with economic and emotional toll on families,” Tammy White, director of SJUSD’s Nutrition Services, said. “We’re grateful that Albertsons and their foundation stepped up to help us meet the need.”

Ivan Cruz and Erik Villalobos, who are both delivery drivers with San Jacinto Unified School District’s Nutrition Services, use their newer refrigeration trucks to pick up 3,625 cantaloupes for a summer meal distribution. Valley News/Courtesy photo

The majority of the funds for the district’s summer feeding program were from the Seamless Summer Option, which combines features of School Nutrition Programs and the Summer Food Service Program, a federally-funded, state-administered program. The Albertsons foundation grant helped pay for fresh fruits such as cantaloupe purchased at the Banning Albertsons, watermelons from Harvest Produce in Riverside and packaging and supplies for meal distributions, along with other essential transportation costs to ensure fresh food delivery.

The Nourishing Neighbors Community Relief initiative was established to help local families impacted by the coronavirus pandemic and beyond. All funds are used to address the emergency by keeping food banks stocked so they can respond to increased demand, supporting emergency meal distribution programs at schools, supporting senior centers and other programs that provide meals and food to older adults and helping families access federal food programs.

San Jacinto Unified School District’s Nutrition Services often includes a list of the items in a weekly grab-n-go meal bag to support families with planning. Valley News/Courtesy photo

The new school year at SJUSD began Aug. 17, in distance learning mode only, so weekly meal distributions will continue but under the regular National School Lunch/School Breakfast program for district enrolled students. The district adopted the Community Eligibility Provision non-pricing meal service option under the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and serves both breakfast and lunch at no cost to all enrolled students without collecting household applications.

For more information about the SJUSD Nutrition Services programs, contact Karina Salcido-Ruiz at 951-654-9371 or ksalcidoruiz@sanjacinto.k12.ca.us.

Submitted by San Jacinto Unified School District.