Summer Meals

Yuba City Unified School District employees served summer meals on Thursday.

Even though school is not in session, local districts are continuing to offer free meal pick-up services for children.

Amber Watson, director of nutrition services for Marysville Joint Unified School District, said they are serving meals to approximately 850 children per day – or about 5,100 total meals – during their meal service that is open two days per week and gives each child three breakfasts and lunches both days.

While the number served is down from during the school year, Watson said they’re serving more than the previous summer when they averaged about 500 children each day.

A few of the reasons for that, she said, could be because they’re giving out food only two days a week rather than everyday, and because it’s now a drive-through service rather than the families sitting down to eat.

“It’s more convenient,” Watson said.

Chelsey Slattery, director of nutrition, purchasing and warehousing at Yuba City Unified School District, said they are serving approximately 2,400 meals per day during their five-day-a-week service.

Slattery said she had noticed a similar trend – where the number of meals being picked up has increased compared to last summer but down since the school year ended.

“I think there’s a need for it with the pandemic that’s going on,” Slattery said.

She said they’ve also done a lot of promotion for the district’s meal service – they plan to continue doing promotions during the summer.

Slattery said the district is also working to finalize plans around serving dinners during this year’s summer months.

As of Thursday, the plan is to start serving dinner two days per week from Gray Avenue Elementary School starting Monday, July 6, and continue serving dinners for five weeks.

Dinner would be served Mondays and Thursdays from 4-5 p.m. in a drive-up/drive-through meal service.

On Mondays, they plan to serve dinners for the first half of the week. On Thursdays, they plan to distribute dinners for the second half of the week.

“We’re just really thinking of ways to increase participation to make sure we are meeting the needs of the community,” Slattery said.

Watson said there are many families that rely on meals from the school and that need doesn’t go away during summer break.

“Hunger doesn’t go on vacation,” she said. “...Those families that rely on the meals, we need to make sure we offer an opportunity for them to keep getting nutrition for their kids.”

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