Buena Park School District’s nutrition services department has given out more than 260,000 meals to students and their families, providing them with fruits, vegetables and protein to maintain healthy lifestyles since the start of the stay-at-home order.
Child Nutrition Director Katrina Butler said the District has gone above and beyond the goal of just handing out food to students and has expanded to feed entire families through its meal distribution program.
Besides providing breakfast and lunch to students, the program has also given families raw potatoes, fresh strawberries, cans of beef and whole heads of lettuce so families can make their own healthy meals.
“Our goal is to have none of our families experience food insecurity,” Butler said. “We make sure our students have the nutrients they need so they can concentrate and learn and so that entire families can be healthy.”
The District’s meal distribution program started March 13 and was originally intended to run for two weeks at Beatty School and Buena Park Junior High. The popular program was extended first through May and then through June 30.
“The food distribution program is amazing. They provide fruits and vegetables to the entire family and the food is all great quality,” said Bonnie Lee, mother of two Buena Park School District students. “The meal program also provides a sense of normalcy, giving my family the opportunity to get out of the house and have my children see some of their teachers.”
Most recently, the program partnered with the USDA Farmers to Families Food Box Program to provide families with 40 pounds of protein, including mozzarella cheese, cheese sauce, pork patties and pork sausages. The District handed out more than 20,000 pounds of the USDA food boxes to the community on June 23.
The District will host two USDA food box distributions from 10:30 a.m. to noon on Tuesday, June 30 and Tuesday, July 7 at Gilbert School.
“We at the Buena Park School District know that it is paramount that our students continue to have nutritious meals available to them because nutrition is linked to concentration, physical development and academic development,” Superintendent Dr. Ramon Miramontes said. “I would like to thank our nutrition services staff for doing such an amazing job of keeping our students and their families fed and healthy.”
06292020_BUENAPARK_MEAL1: A Buena Park School District’s food services employee hands off a healthy meal to a community member at Gilbert School. The package included breakfast and lunch for the guest’s child as well as fruits and veggies for the entire family.
06292020_BUENAPARK_MEAL2: Buena Park School District food services employees prepare meal packages, filled with fruits, vegetables and protein for community members. These employees have been providing the community with healthy meals since the start of the stay-at-home order in March.