SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — With hundreds of thousands of students across our area home during this pandemic, and parents out of work, school lunches take on even greater importance.
Johanna Jones was one of the hundreds of parents that pulled up to get food for their kids at Hiram Johnson High School on Monday morning.
“It is very rewarding. They come through and we provide some food and get their belly full,” Martina Cronjager said.
Cronjager and Bettina Tapp are lunch ladies who are handing out meals between 8 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. on weekdays, serving up food to families forced to stay home during the coronavirus outbreak.
“Some are very anxious. They are worried this is going to stop. I am telling them I will be here every day,” Tapp said.
The Sacramento City Unified School District has already provided 200,000 meals, breakfast, lunch, and in some cases dinner, to families since schools closed.
Jones said many parents are struggling to juggle having their kids home from school and maintaining their jobs. She is not working right now.
“I do caregiving, and I don’t want to go in because they are in a closed facility. I am afraid. I don’t want anything to happen to myself or my children,” Jones said.
She knows meal pick up at the 31 schools in the district is a godsend during this time of uncertainty, especially for those who already rely on the free and reduced lunch programs at school.
“For some of the kids, you hear it might be the only meal they get. You hear that kids do live in their cars, go hungry,” Jones said.
The district is providing dinner at 14 locations between 4:30 p.m. and 6 p.m. Check the district website for more information about the meal programs. The food is available to all students in the district.