Some Bay Area school districts vow to continue feeding students through summer amid COVID-19 pandemic

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Tuesday was the last day of virtual classes for San Francisco public schools and to celebrate, a citywide cheer will be held at 8 p.m. and City Hall will also be lit up in gold. In the meantime, the school district wants parents to know that their children will continue to be fed throughout the summer thanks to their Grab and Go program.

Cesar Chavez Elementary in the Mission District has served as a food distribution center for many families. On Tuesday it was a pop-up was hosted by the San Francisco Food Bank. On Mondays and Wednesdays, it's one of 18 locations where parents with kids in schools come to pick up food for their children, breakfast, lunch and dinner.

"Since March 13 we have served 1.3 million meals," revealed Jennifer LeBarre, executive director of Student Nutrition Services for the San Francisco Unified School District.

Districts have relied on federal and state monies and donations from the public and other organizations to fund this program.

RELATED: San Francisco students, parents grateful for free meals during COVID-19 shelter-in-place

During this pandemic, school districts in the Bay Area have vowed to continue feeding students during the summer. In fact, Oakland Unified will double the number of sites from 12 to 24 and provide seven days worth of food, as opposed to five. Families can continue to pick up food bags on Mondays and Thursdays. Restaurants and nonprofits will donate to help families in Oakland.

"It's just been a remarkable unity between organizations that want to help the people of Oakland. We know our kids are struggling, we know our families are struggling," said John Sasaki, spokesperson for the Oakland Unified School District.

But here's where school districts need the public's help more than ever. The U.S. Department of Agriculture has never allowed school districts to serve supper during the summer. A school district like San Francisco Unified will need to raise about one million dollars to feed kids that third meal of the day.

RELATED: Oakland Unified distributes free meals to students during school closures due to COVID-19

"But we all know that hunger continues during the summer and especially now with the pandemic and the additional economic crisis that it has caused, now more than ever we need to be having all three meals served to our families," explained LeBarre.

Parents who have lost their jobs told us without this help, they would not be able to feed their children.

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