PALM SPRINGS – Many children here in the valley don’t know if or when they’ll eat their next meal.
“What are they going to eat? How can I prepare it?,” says Beatriz Guanajuato.
These are questions Guanajuato faces everyday. Summertime is the hardest. Work slows down and money is tight.
“In the summer it’s not easy to get money or wages,” says Guanajuato.
Now, a new federally-funded program offers a little stress relief.
“Federal money is coming back into the community,” says Wanda Grant, Palm Springs Unified School District food services director.
Guanajuato’s eight grandchildren eat at Cathedral City High School everyday for free.
Palm Springs Unified School District always offers the free meal program during the regular school year. But now, they’re also offering free breakfast and lunch during the summer. It’s open to the entire community, even for children who aren’t in summer school. For some, it’s the only complete meal of the day.
“Everyone knows a hungry child can’t learn,” says Grant.
Without this program, Guanajuato says her grandchildren wouldn’t get nutritious, full meals.
“They won’t be healthy meals, maybe just a snack,” says Guanajuato. “It’s important for them to eat healthy.”
The program’s first year is a hit. PSUSD students under 18 can load up on protein, whole grains, vegetables, fruit and milk for free.
“School lunch isn’t what it used to be, our meals are wonderful,” says Grant.
As children fill their trays and bodies, valley families have one less worry in these tough times.
“It helps us a lot,” says Guanajuato
For more information on how your children can get a free, complete meal call 760-416-8351.