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Summer meals program for students to continue

Posted at 9:17 PM, Sep 01, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-02 00:17:46-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) -- It appeared the federal government (USDA) was about to put an end to the summer meals program school districts throughout San Diego County have been providing to students. However, a last minute decision has ensured the free meals will continue to be handed out, at least until the end of the year.

"We are back to where we wanted to be, " says SDUSD Director of Food and Nutrition Gary Petill. "Back to serving all of our kids so that they are healthy and ready to learn."

The free meals, which were first handed out back in March, have been very important to families during the pandemic.

"It's so important, because now they can take the money they don't have to spend on meals for their kids, and buy groceries or even pay the rent."

The free meals program effects around 120,000 students in the San Diego Unified School District. And with the drive up service, mom's and dad's will know their kids are getting a healthy meal.

"You know lots of fruits and vegetables, as well as milk and water. So the kids can take it home and prepare and eat it when they want to eat it," says Petill.

And distributing the meals is also very rewarding for workers and volunteers, as they find a passion in helping out the kids.

"They have been out here since March 16th serving kids at 26 locations. We've now added 56 additional locations throughout the San Diego Unified School District, so kids can get easier access in their neighborhood to get the food they need, to be able to learn and do well with online learning."