Schools Continue Providing Meals to Students

More than 220,000 meals served to San Joaquin County students during first two weeks of closed campuses

The San Joaquin County Office of Education (SJCOE) and school districts in San Joaquin County have continued to provide meals to children since schools were closed to help slow the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).  In just the first two weeks after schools closed (March 16-27), the SJCOE and San Joaquin County school districts have provided over 220,000 meals to children in need of this essential service.

"Our schools play an important role in our communities that goes beyond the education they provide. Schools provide stability and are an important source for regular meals for students," San Joaquin County Superintendent of Schools James Mousalimas said. "This is particularly true of students in families who are financially struggling. Of the nearly 150,000 students in San Joaquin County public schools, almost 65 percent qualify for free- or reduced-price meals. School districts quickly responded to the nutritional needs of their students when schools closed. Educators throughout our county have been working diligently to distribute meals to students while navigating the impact this health crisis has had on their own families’ lives."

Soon after schools closed in March, school districts began finding ways to continue to provide meal services to their students and families by distributing breakfasts and lunches, primarily through "grab and go" locations throughout the county. Funding for the meal services were facilitated by a federal waiver acquired by the California Department of Education (CDE), allowing districts who were approved to provide summer meals to also serve meals during coronavirus-related school closures.

Total meals distributed by each San Joaquin County school district through March 27:

Banta Elementary School District

3,259

Escalon Unified School District

4,170

Lammersville Unified School District

18,800

Lincoln Unified School District

22,256

Linden Unified School District

3,587

Lodi Unified School District

35,756

Manteca Unified School District

32,796

New Jerusalem Elementary School District

1,840*

New Hope Elementary School District

1,890

Ripon Unified School District

2,040

San Joaquin County Office of Education 

3,170

Stockton Unified School District

81,166

Tracy Unified School District

10,191 

TOTAL

220,921

*Estimated

Important information for San Joaquin County students and families:

  • Meal schedules and locations for San Joaquin County schools can be found on the SJCOE website at  http://bit.ly/SJCMeals4Kids.  Information specific to each school district may also be available on each school district’s website or social media.  The CDE CA Meals for Kids mobile app can also be downloaded to mobile devices for a map of meal locations.
  • Families can pick up meals from any school site meal location that is nearest to them, even if the child does not attend school in that district.
  • Meals are free to all children through the age of 18. Students in special education programs eligible up to age 22.
  • Children must be present to receive the meals.
  • Documentation is not required to receive the meals.
  • To reduce the risk of spreading germs, families, and children cannot eat meals on-site and must follow social distancing practices by staying at least 6 feet apart from school staff when picking up meals.

To find out more information about food that is available for children and adults in San Joaquin County, dial “2-1-1” or go to 211sj.org. 

For updates and local information about the countywide response to COVID-19, go to sjready.org.

Posted: 4/3/2020