Village News Reporter
The Vallecitos School District previously had an agreement with the San Diego Food Bank to provide food bags to Vallecitos Elementary School families. A Feb. 14 Vallecitos school board action will expand that program.
The approval of the memorandum of understanding with the San Diego Food Bank preceded the board action to fill a vacant seat, so the vote to approve the MOU was 4-0. “We approved the expansion of the program,” said Vallecitos superintendent Meliton Sanchez. “That’s exciting for us.”
The San Diego Food Bank was established in 1977 and distributed approximately 44 million pounds of food last year. The food bank has warehouses in Vista and in the Miramar area of the City of San Diego. In 2006, the food bank established the Food 4 Kids Backpack Program which provides weekend food packages to elementary school children from low-income households.
Each Friday afternoon students are called out of their class so that they can be given a bag of food privately. The bag of food is placed in the student’s backpack.
The previous agreement between the San Diego Food Bank and the Vallecitos School District had food being delivered in the parking lot. The new MOU allows the school district to store food and distribute it to students during the month.
“We now have pallets of food,” Sanchez said.
The food and backpacks will be stored in a secure location and off the floor. An ongoing food distribution record will track the number of bags distributed each week and will also track multiple missed pickups by students in the program. If the school has enough food remaining from the previous week to reduce or cancel the next order, the Food 4 Kids supervisor will be notified at least five days prior to the scheduled delivery date. The stocked inventory will be rotated so that the oldest items will be distributed first.
“We now have food going to about a quarter of our students,” Sanchez said. “We appreciate the food bank and their generosity.”