San Diego

San Diego schools free lunch program struggling to keep up

The district is making an attempt to come up with options, however there isn’t any fast repair.

POWAY, Calif. — It’s a math downside schools throughout the state are having a tough time answering: If a lunch interval is 35-minutes, however the line to get meals is 40-minutes, how do you make sure that each scholar has time for lunch?

A Del Norte High father or mother despatched News 8 a video that reveals college students in a number of lengthy lunch strains which can be clearly not transferring very quick. Their concern? We’re now a number of weeks into the varsity year and the issue hasn’t improved. 

High college senior Mustafa Sharaf says it’s a giant downside. 

“I’ve seen kids who just unpack their lunch and there’s literally like two minutes left of lunch,” Sharaf mentioned. 

Sharaf says he is personally seen college students shortly take 5 bites of their meals after which throw the remainder away simply to allow them to make it to class on time.

“We are aware of the longer lunch lines at some of our school campuses,” mentioned Christine Paik, the Chief Communications Officer with Poway Unified School District. 

Paik says there are two essential points right here. The first is that the pandemic remains to be hitting numerous households exhausting. To make sure that college students get meals, the federal authorities is requiring schools throughout the nation to supply free lunches to each scholar. 

As a end result, they’re serving much more meals.

The second downside is a hiring scarcity. In reality, accessible job openings are entrance and heart on the district’s web site. 

“We do need more food and nutrition workers,” Paik mentioned. “But there’s a hiring and staffing shortage – not just in Poway Unified, but across school districts in this county.”  

She added that the district is making an attempt to come up with options, however there isn’t any fast repair. 

“You can’t just extend the lunch period. All of our school schedules are built around required instructional minutes so, a longer lunch period cuts into teaching time.”

For college students, the scenario extends past hungry stomachs. Lunch can be time to fill their hearts with friendship, however the strains are stopping socialization. 

And there’s the difficulty of ready for half an hour within the scorching solar. 

“A lot of people have to stay in huge lines in the heat and so people take off masks outside – so it can also spread COVID,” Sharaf mentioned. “So it’s a really big problem.”

The free lunch program is being backed by the federal authorities this year, however California has already mentioned it’s going to proceed to pay for the program sooner or later. 

So the lengthy strains will proceed. Teaching college students on the affected schools that there actually isn’t any such factor as a free lunch.

WATCH RELATED: San Diego highschool college students protest dress codes, calling them ‘sexist’ and ‘outdated’ (September 2021)

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