June 10, 2020

Capitol Weekly Opinion: School lunches: Trying to keep kids fed during COVID-19 by Arnold Sowell Jr. and Adam Kesselman

Faced with the enormity of an economic fallout and public health crisis caused by the COVID-19 crisis, California must manage an unprecedented budget deficit, unemployment that rivals the Great Depression, and rising poverty.

With mandated school closures across our state, the response by school districts has been swift and impactful, stepping up to provide free emergency meals despite increased costs and losses of traditional sources of revenue. 

School districts are losing money and currently are unable to access nutritional services dollars provided from federal COVID-19 relief funding, and they are likely to be stretched too thin to continue service through the summer and into fall. In a recent report, one California school district’s food costs had more than tripled due to increased packaging and added expense of meal kits, while 80% of public school districts reported increases in the overall costs of serving meals during the pandemic.

Read the full article here