SFUSD Announces New Partnerships With Five Community- Based Organizations to Expand Access to Free Meals

SFUSD Announces New Partnerships With Five Community- Based Organizations to Expand Access to Free Meals

District has provided over 500,000 meals during school closure

Press Release

San Francisco (April 24, 2020) - Today the San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD) announced new partnerships with five community-based organizations (CBOs) to continue expanding access to free grab & go meals at additional sites throughout the City. SFUSD has provided over 500,000 free meals to children in San Francisco since closing school sites due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

The Chinatown YMCA, Ella Hill Hutch Community Center, St. Paul of the Shipwreck, Tenderloin Neighborhood Development Corporation, and The Village join the Ship Shape Community Center on Treasure Island and the 18 school sites currently serving free meals.

“We are grateful every day for our school meal heroes who are working tirelessly to make sure that no child in San Francisco goes hungry while school buildings are closed,” said San Francisco Board of Education President Mark Sanchez. “SFUSD staff and community partners continue to find ways to serve children and families at different access points throughout the City.”

SFUSD is serving all children in San Francisco, not just SFUSD students, and is also providing some adult meals. All sites serve free meals to children and youth and no identification or proof of school enrollment is required. Adults can pick up meals for children without a child present and families do not need to enter the building for pick-up.

Services and pick-up times vary at each site, and may include meals such as cereal and muffins for breakfast; sandwiches and pupusas for lunch; pizza and burritos for supper; fresh fruit, vegetables and milk. A full list and schedule is available online at sfusd.edu/foodresources along with an interactive map of all meal pick-up sites.

“‘In the COVID19 environment, partnerships like the one between the SFUSD and Ella Hill Hutch Community Center in the Western Addition are vital to ensure food security in our low-income communities,” said Former District 5 Supervisor Vallie Brown. “Many families rely on the school district to help feed their children on a daily basis. And now with schools closed, it’s even more important to connect our families with resources including food.”

The district, in partnership with its non-profit partner Spark* SF Public Schools, has been able to expand meal services with the support of donations. Over 900 individuals have donated to the Spark* SF COVID-19 Response Fund to support ongoing meal delivery and distance learning efforts. Private equity firm Thoma Bravo and longstanding SFUSD partner, the Someland Foundation, contributed more than $3 million at the outset of COVID-19 school closures, allowing SFUSD to mobilize quickly in response to the pandemic. 

“As a district we remain committed to providing food and access to education while face to face instruction has ceased, and we need the continued support of our community to make this happen,” said SFUSD Superintendent Dr. Vincent Matthews. “We are immensely grateful for those who have helped support our most vulnerable children.” 

The cost of providing meals far exceeds State and Federal reimbursements. As more families continue to come forward seeking meals and other support, SFUSD continues to seek financial support for the district’s response to the novel coronavirus pandemic. 

Those interested in helping to provide emergency funding for student nutrition and continuity of learning may direct donations to SFUSD’s nonprofit partner, Spark* SF Public Schools at sparksfpublicschools.org/donate or text “4SFUSD” to 44321.

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