Online Exclusives

AUHSD Offers Free Meals to the Community

By Aysha Craig and Sabrina Agazzi, Copy Editors

// Although many may feel helpless during this time of isolation because of the lack of functioning services worldwide, the Acalanes Union High School District (AUHSD) continues to support those in need.

   The AUHSD cafeteria staff will provide free meals at the Las Lomas and Campolindo High School cafeteria windows every week up until June 30 for anyone in the community under the age of 18. 

   The food services benefit both AUHSD families and people from all over the community, including students in the Lafayette, Orinda, Moraga, Walnut Creek, and Canyon school districts.

   The cafeteria staff works three days a week to prepare meals while taking precautions to provide them in a sanitary manner.

   “The cafeteria teams from our schools are providing day-to-day support for the program; they are amazing. We have combined the staff from all four kitchens [in the district] to have enough hands to produce all the meals we need,” AUHSD Coordinator of Food Services and Safety Rebecca Ward said.

   To ensure that everyone follows social distancing guidelines, the district encourages students to pick up their meals for breakfast and lunch at the same time while remaining six feet apart from others.

Messages from community members to cafeteria workers
Courtesy Steven Nelson

  The AUHSD Governing Board put together the food service program to help as many families as possible during these unprecedented and stressful times. So far, the district has served over 60,000 meals.

   “We feel that our food service program has been very successful due to the Governing Board’s support, strong administrative leadership, dedicated food service staff and funding sources for the commodities,” AUHSD Superintendent John Nickerson said. “Hundreds of our K through 12 families in the community have benefited.”

   Lead Food Service Assistant at Campolindo High School Steven Nelson works hard to make the food services as beneficial to the community as possible. Nelson and Lead Food Service Assistant of Las Lomas Soccorro Martinez are in charge of arranging the menu, scheduling staff from across the district, and delivering the meals.

   “During this pandemic, things have been changing hour by hour with people losing their jobs and not knowing what the future holds,” Nelson said. “If we can take a little bit of stress off of the parents so they don’t have to worry about feeding their kids for two meals a day, we have provided a great service.” 

   The free meal service allows for a sense of security across the community. Many students feel relief knowing that they can rely on AUHSD if a similar situation occurs in the future where food is not easily accessible. 

   “Because of the free meals being provided, I feel more comfortable knowing that both now and in the future, myself, my family, and others are supported by the AUHSD and by the community,” freshman Makena Chelemedos said.    

Messages from community members to cafeteria workers
Courtesy Steven Nelson

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