The San Jose Earthquakes and the Alum Rock Union School District are joining together to support local food-insecure families amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.
Thousands of children rely on their local schools for up to two meals a day. As a result of recent school closures, some families have a limited ability to feed their children. Since March 16, the Alum Rock Union School District (ARUSD) has been essential in providing two meals a day for local children after the school closures.
In response to this, the Earthquakes and the ARUSD Child Nutrition Services (CNS) are fundraising to aid in this uncertain time. All donations made by the public through the GoFundMe page will be matched in full by the Quakes Foundation.
The ARUSD is currently providing the highest number of free meals in the community. On March 18 alone, the CNS staff served 2,800 breakfasts and lunches. The program normally feeds up to 5,000 breakfasts and 7,000 lunches to students during the school year.
“There is a definite need for our services,” says Denisse Mendez, Director of CNS. “During the school closure, all of the Child Nutrition staff is working Monday through Thursday to provide these meals,” she says.
All staff have been adhering to safe-distance policies and taking extra precaution to make the meal distribution process as safe, clean and quick as possible. The nature of the curbside distribution has resulted in a higher cost of individual food wrapping, packaging and bagging, as well as costs for safe storage and labor.
“Everything has to be individually wrapped and bagged, which is creating a massive issue,” Mendez says. Last week, the Earthquakes donated 12,000 bags for meal packaging and distribution purposes.
Donations made through the GoFundMe page will aid in providing safety materials to the staff and volunteers, necessary supplies for meal production and packaging, and support for operational necessities.
“[The staff] care so much about our students, children and families. They’re heroes without capes,” says Mendez.
The following sites will be offering breakfast and lunch meals to children under 18 now through April 10. The pickup window is 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., Monday through Thursday at the following locations:
Arbuckle Elementary | 1970 Cinderella Ln. San Jose, CA 95116
Cesar Chavez Elementary | 2000 Kammerer Ave. San Jose, CA 95116
Dorsa Elementary | 1290 Bal Harbor Dr. San Jose, CA 95122
Hubbard Media Arts Academy | 1680 Foley Ave. San Jose, CA 95122
Linda Vista Elementary | 100 Kirk Ave. San Jose, CA 95127
Sheppard/Painter Elementary | 480 Rough and Ready Rd. San Jose, CA 95133
Some of the ways you can help this initiative are by donating to the program via the GoFundMe page, and by sharing this article to spread the word to families with children in need of meals.
For more information on supporting the ARUSD and Child Nutrition Program, visit:
For more information on supporting the Quakes Foundation, visit: https://www.sjearthquakes.com/community/aboutfoundation