LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — The Chuck Lorre Family Foundation has given LAUSD a $250,000 “challenge grant” to help the district continue to provide meals through its 63 Grab & Go Food Centers.
The grant was announced Monday morning by Superintendent Austin Beutner, who set up the LA Students Most In Need charity to support students during the unprecedented school closure to slow the spread of coronavirus. The charity is supporting the district’s Grab & Go Centers, which are providing meals, books, baby supplies, sports equipment, technology and internet access to students.
“Chuck Lorre contributed $250,000 earlier this month, and today has committed another $250,000 as a challenge grant — he will match other donations we can raise up to that amount,” Beutner said in a statement. “Just $20 will provide a week’s worth of lunches to a hungry child.”
Lorre, the writer and producer behind CBS hit comedies like “The Big Bang Theory” and “Young Sheldon,” founded the Chuck Lorre Family Foundation to fund programs in education, health and the arts.
Lorre said he has been both inspired and shaken by the 13 million meals served to students and their families by the district.
“With more than 600,000 public school students receiving their education remotely for the foreseeable future, the food that was once delivered in cafeterias needs to be made available at home,” he said in a statement. “The need is immediate and the time to act is now.”
Donations can be made by texting “NEED” to 76278 or at LAStudentsMostInNeed.org.
LAUSD campuses will remain closed through the end of the school year and Beutner said in a livestreamed news briefing that students continue to learn and are being equipped with the necessary tools for remote learning. He said that with more than 75,000 district employees serving almost 700,000 students, a more robust system of testing and contact tracing is needed before officials can seriously consider reopening schools.
“We closed school facilities on March 13th so our schools don’t become a petri dish and cause the virus to spread in the community we serve,” Beutner said. “That’s worked. We do not want to reverse that in a hasty return to schools.”