OUSD Grab and Go Enters Summer Phase and Doubles Number of Sites Where Families Can Get Food For Students; Program Could Hand Out Two Millionth Meal on Thursday

OUSD press release
Thursday, June 4, 2020Contact: John SasakiCommunications Director 510-214-2080[email protected]
Oakland, CA —
 Thursday, June 4 is the second day of OUSD’s Summer Grab and Go Free Student Meal Program, and now, the District is offering the service at twice as many schools as were open during the latter half of the spring semester. Not only that, but each student can now get seven days worth of meals, instead of the five days of meals they were getting up until last week.

The new sites now open are Emerson Elementary, the co-located La Escuelita and MetWest High School, Cleveland Elementary, Bella Vista Elementary, the co-located Manzanita SEED and Manzanita Community elementary schools, Allendale Elementary, Horace Mann Elementary, East Oakland PRIDE, the co-located New Highland and Rise Academy elementary schools, the co-located Esperanza Elementary and Korematsu Discovery Academy, Melrose Leadership Academy and Frick Impact Academy. This map includes all 24 sites.
When families go to any of the schools on Mondays, they receive three days worth of food for students, including breakfast, lunch and supper for each day. And while during the semester, they would receive two days worth on Thursdays, they can now get food for the weekend, too, which means they can pick up four days worth of food on Thursdays. The grab and go service happens 8:00 a.m. to noon on both days.
Since the first day of the meal service on March 16, the first day of the pandemic-related school closure, OUSD Nutrition Services has served 1.9 million student meals. All sites have also been handing out groceries (more than half a million pounds so far) and produce (more than 77 tons) courtesy of the Alameda County Community Food Bank.

“This has been an amazing collaborative effort, from our nutrition services team, and school site staff, to central office and volunteers, people have been here every day supporting our students and families,” said Irene Reynolds, Nutrition Services Executive Director. “And of course, our partner organizations have been invaluable with all they have supplied in food and other items. I am thrilled that we will all be here all summer supporting the OUSD community.”

OUSD families need meals for adults, too. So far, the District has served about 280,000 adult meals. But as of this week, the approach to adult meals is different. Before it was through one big company, funded by World Central Kitchen. Now, WCK is contracting with eight Oakland restaurants to not only supply great food, but also to help out local businesses. Those restaurants are:

● The Damel
● DeVaughn’s Cajun Kitchen
● El Huarache Azteca
● Everett & Jones
● Gussie’s Southern Table
● Itani Ramen
● Obelisco
● Tacos Sinaloa

The 12 new sites will have adult meals supplied by these wonderful partner restaurants.
The program owes a great deal of its success to all of its partner organizations, such as World Central Kitchen and the Alameda County Community Food Bank. The Golden State Warriors, Klay Thomson’s Thompson Family Foundation and Stephen and Ayesha Curry’s Eat. Learn. Play. Foundation have all supported the effort, as have SupplyBank.org, Numi Tea, the U.C. Master Gardener Program, the organization Help a Mother Out, the organization No Kid Hungry, the Oakland Athletics, the Berkeley Humane Society, and the Oakland Public Education Fund, among others.

With the help of these organizations, the sites have also been distributing diapers, feminine hygiene products, pet food, children’s books, art supplies, live plants for aspiring gardeners, homework packets, and literature and grocery bags reminding everyone to fill out the 2020 Census. Children’s ride share service, Zum, has helped dozens of families who cannot make it to the Grab and Go sites because of lack of transportation or other reasons, delivering the meals to their homes. 

On Monday, June 8, the District launches a partnership with Emeryville’s Clif Bar and will be handing out boxes of Clif Bars to each family at all 24 sites. All OUSD students and all Oakland children up to 18 years old are invited to pick up food, but families need not have their children present in order to receive food. All food served is free of pork products and peanuts.

The District is also looking for people to help out at the grab and go sites. To sign up to volunteer, you can visit this website.

WHAT: OUSD Summer Grab and Go Free Student Meal Program
WHEN: 8:00 a.m. – Noon, Thursday, June 4, and all Mondays and Thursdays through July 30
WHERE: See Map Above for all 24 Locations###About the Oakland Unified School DistrictIn California’s most diverse city, Oakland Unified School District (OUSD) is dedicated to creating a learning environment where “Every Student Thrives!” More than half of our students speak a non-English language at home. And each of our 83 schools is staffed with talented individuals uniting around a common set of values: Students First, Equity, Excellence, Integrity, Cultural Responsiveness and Joy. We are committed to preparing all students for college, career and community success. 

To learn more about OUSD’s Full Service Community District focused on academic achievement while serving the whole child in safe schools, please visit OUSD.org and follow us @OUSDnews.
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