California’s public school districts are rising to the challenge of providing students with much-needed meals during the COVID-19 crisis.
In this episode, special guests Stephanie Bruce, Nutrition Services Director for Palm Springs USD and Andrew Soliz, Director of Child Nutrition Services for San Mateo-Foster City School District share how their districts are preparing and delivering meals to thousands of students daily, even in the face of a global pandemic. Essentially, food service teams throughout the state are serving as first responders in the massive effort to ensure millions of students continue to receive nutritious meals while schools are closed.
Andrew and Stephanie offer a glimpse into the approaches their districts are taking, including the innovative use of school busses to deliver meals to local neighborhoods and “Grab and Go” operations. They also discuss how they’re keeping staff and students safe, challenges, lessons to share – and inspiring moments as communities come together during the crisis.
Note: During this time, we’re utilizing our series to bring you more topical guidance and inspiring stories from around the state.
- Gov. Newsom’s March 13 Executive Order states that to continue to receive funding, districts must “Provide school meals in non-congregate settings...consistent with the requirements of the California Department of Education and U.S Department of Agriculture.”
- National School Lunch Program Fact Sheet
- What is the California State Meal Program?
- How Are Kids Fed, Ed100.org blog
- Just in: New waivers announced by USDA allow parents to take meals home to their children.
Fact: In 2019, 59.4% of CA public school children were eligible for free and reduced price lunches.
About our Guests
After starting his career with the Salt Lake City School District, Andrew moved to Fresno, where he served as Director of Child Nutrition, Maintenance, Operations, and Transportation for a small school district. Prior to his current role, he also served as Executive Manager of Food and Nutrition in San Leandro. Andrew has served as President of the California School Nutrition Association and currently serves as CASBO's Professional Council Chair of Child Nutrition, and Director I for CASBO’s NorthernSection Board.
Stephanie has worked in the food service industry for over 30 years and in Child Nutrition for 20 years. She has been with the Palm Springs USD for the past 6 years. She holds a Culinary Arts Degree from College of the Desert; a BS in Hotel/Restaurant Management from California Polytechnic College in Pomona; and an MBA in Finance from the University of Redlands. Stephanie currently sits as the West Region Leadership Committee representative for the School Nutrition Association (SNA) and is an Instructor for both the CASBO CBO certification program and the USC Rossier School of Business.
About the California Association of School Business Officials
CASBO is the premier resource for professional development and business best practices for California's school business leaders.
About your series guide
Paul Richman is a public education advocate and consultant. Contact him at EdfundingCA@gmail.com