• EVERY STUDENT, EVERY CHANCE, EVERY DAY •Dr. David E. Cash, Superintendent • 720 Santa Barbara Street, Santa Barbara, CA 93101 • (805) 963-4338
Friday, June 15, 2012
The Santa Barbara Unified School District’s Food Services Department and City of Santa Barbara Parks and Recreation and Waterfront Departments are working together to deliver fresh, healthy, nutritious lunches and snacks to the community’s children. Tomorrow, Tuesday, June 19, 2012, at 12:15 p.m, Santa Barbara Mayor Helene Schneider and Santa Barbara Unified School District Associate Superintendent Robin Sawaske will officially kick off the start of the Summer Food Service Program. The kickoff will take place at the Westside Community Center, 423 W. Victoria. Tomorrow’s menu will be barbeque chicken with rice, fresh fruit and vegetables, and milk. [Summer Food Program menu is posted at schoolmenu.com]
Director of Food Services Nancy Weiss says, “This federally-funded summer extension of the National School Lunch Program provides tremendous local benefits for our children and our community. First, and most important, the program helps hungry children meet one of the most basic of human needs. Additionally, this program supports the district’s wellness policy, required by law, that recognizes the critical role that schools must play in helping to raise healthy children. A healthy diet supports learning and may reduce risk for diabetes, obesity, and other illnesses that are now surfacing in our youth.”
According to Ms. Weiss, an added benefit from this collaboration will soon be forthcoming, “We are going to do a food scraps/composting program at the Westside as an extension of environmental responsibility that we have implemented in all of our elementary schools. This will be a new project for the Westside Neighborhood Center and the Parks and Recreation Department’s Neighborhood and Outreach Services. I believe it is another great example of the city’s and the school district’s proactive approach!”
The city’s Recreations Programs Manager Sarah Hanna added, “The city is excited to partner with the school district to expand the number and location of Summer Food Service Program sites offering free, nutritious lunch and snacks to reach a higher number of low-income children that may otherwise go hungry during school summer vacation. The seven sites are spread through the city’s economically challenged neighborhoods and are within walking distance for most families. No child needs to be hungry this summer.”
The meals and snacks will be free for children at various summer programs and in park locations, for children 18 years and younger, and handicapped adults over 18. Meals must be eaten on site; food cannot be taken off site. At six of the seven sites, adults may purchase a lunch for $3.50; lunches for adults will not be served at Skater’s Point. The program will run Monday through Friday, August 17, 2012 (closed July 4 and August 3). The schedule for each location is as follows:
During the 43 days the program will be in operation, Ms. Weiss expects to serve approximately 250 children at each of the seven sites, for a total of more than 70,000 meals.
According to the “Santa Barbara County 2010 Children’s Scorecard,” The percentage of children in Santa Barbara County living in families with incomes below the federal poverty threshold continues to rise. In the past three years, the Santa Barbara Unified School District has seen a significant increase in the number of families qualifying for the federal Free and Reduced-Price Meal Program. Three years ago, 39 percent of the children served qualified for free and reduced-price meals. In school year 2011-12, the number rose to 50 percent.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture‘s Food and Nutrition Service administers the Summer Food Service Program at the national level. Within each state, the program is generally administered by the state’s Department of Education.