One man wore plastic gloves and a face mask as he pulled up in a pickup to receive school-packed meals for his children. A woman with a preschooler at her side took her boxed meals through her car window and quickly drove away. Another woman said she was grateful to hear that the district was giving out milk. She couldn’t find any the last time she went to a local market.
As students and parents woke up to news that public schools in California might be closed for the remainder of the school year, Los Angeles school officials opened campus gates to what they said would be the first of many morning food pickups in the weeks and possibly months ahead.
Los Angeles Unified, the nation’s second-largest school district, has been training volunteers and ramping up food services to care for more than half a million students, and even their families, affected by the closures. About 80% of its students are from low-income families and qualify to receive breakfast, lunch and sometimes dinner from school.
About 400,000 “grab-and-go” meals were prepped and ready to be distributed Wednesday between 7 and 10 a.m. at 60 pickup sites throughout the district. The locations are set up for drive-through and walk-up distribution. Officials say they will make adjustments in the coming days based on how many people show up and where.
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