Feeding Oakland Students During COVID. Innovations and Expanded Eligibility

Español   |   العربية   |   中文   |   文言 |   Tiếng Việt   |   ភាសាខ្មែរ
i am ousdSeptember 18, 2020This message is available in other languages using the links located above the blue header.Preston ThomasDear Oakland Community,

I am writing to share an update on our ongoing efforts to feed Oakland’s young people during this pandemic.

More young people are eligible for OUSD’s meals once again
Due to a change in federal regulations, all OUSD students, and any Oakland children 18 and younger can get food from OUSD’s meal distribution sites. Families can pick up nine meals per child on Monday morning, and 10 meals per child on Thursday morning. They can also pick up other necessities courtesy of our partners across the city and county. Families will be asked for their student ID number or simply the name of the child.

“This is an exciting and welcome change,” said OUSD Nutrition Services Executive Director, Irene Reynolds. “Our role is to feed the young people of Oakland, not deny families just because their children don’t attend our schools. Hunger is a critical issue in our city, especially now during the pandemic.”

As a reminder, there are 22 sites across the District where families can pick up food from 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., and you can find a map and more information on our website. Please don’t forget to wear a mask to protect yourself and those around you.  

Innovating to meet the needs of our community:
We want to acknowledge and thank all the families that have been supporting students to engage in distance learning. It is incredibly difficult to manage work, school, childcare, and feed your family. We are trying to meet the community’s needs, we are working on several innovative solutions to address the food insecurity throughout Oakland, two of which are highlighted below.

We are piloting home delivery. 
Starting three weeks ago, we launched a small pilot to deliver food to people’s homes because we know that distance learning makes it more difficult for families to get out to our food distribution centers. In week one, we served 200 children from the ACORN Woodland and EnCompass communities. Three weeks later, we are partnering with six schools and serving nearly 1000 students. Obviously, there are challenges to being able to provide home delivery across the entire community, but we are looking forward to meeting those challenges and expanding our home delivery pilot.
Buy one, help one. 
 – which has helped in our home delivery pilot – was created in response to the pandemic and worked in partnership with OUSD this summer to provide 3,200 Oakland families at 40 schools with free, weekly home delivery of farm-fresh fruit and vegetables. Having successfully completed a large grant from Salesforce and Eat Learn Play, they are transitioning to a more sustainable strategy. Now, every full priced order ($35 bag of produce delivered to your house), will allow one of the Oakland families who were part of the summer program to receive a bag at a highly reduced price they can afford. Farms-to-Communities’ weekly CSA (or fresh produce bags) bags have 12-15 pounds of organic and sustainably grown fruits and vegetables, including staples like greens & potatoes as well as seasonal items like peaches and melons. Click here for more information and to sign up. Over the summer, Farm-to Communities hired two dozen OUSD parents to run the operation to deliver food safely all over Oakland and helped the dedicated small organic farmers of our region to stay in business. I look forward to sharing more about these pilots and on-going efforts to keep our young people healthy and fed. If you have any comments or feedback please let me know. Please share your thoughts on this messageIn Partnership,
Preston Thomas
Chief Systems and Services Officer
What do you think?

More Comments