LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – The Los Angeles Unified School District served its 100 millionth Grab-And-Go meal Monday, a big milestone since the program launched last April near the start of the coronavirus pandemic.
Although LAUSD students have been learning remotely for the past 10 months, the district has continued to provide millions of meals daily to students and their families.READ MORE: 6 In Critical Condition After Stolen Vehicle Pursuit Ends In Multi-Vehicle Crash
Last March, LAUSD leaders realized that without in-person instruction, many of their students who rely on free breakfasts and lunches would no longer received them. So they created the Grab-And-Go program, allowing families to go to school sites and pick up prepackaged meals for the day.
The program is funded by donations. Every morning, big-rigs filled with pallets of food roll out from warehouses in Pico Rivera. They head to a packing center in Boyle Heights and then to food distribution centers countywide.
“This is the largest single food relief effort in the nation,” Superintendent Austin Beutner told CBSLA Monday.READ MORE: Authorities Find Silvia Ochoa De Hernandez, Woman Who Went Missing In South Gate
Last April, CBS2 partnered with iHeart Radio and the L.A. Chargers for a fundraiser that raised $1.6 million for struggling LAUSD students and families. Altogether, more than $31 million have been raised to buy food, diapers, school supplies and other needed items.
LAUSD is the second largest school district in the nation, with over 600,000 students and 75,000 staff. According to LAUSD, about 80% of its students live in poverty.
Last month, LAUSD Superintendent Austin Beutner called on state health officials to give the green light for the district to begin vaccinating its teachers and staff against COVID-19. Beutner Monday said the district and county would be sending a formal request to the Biden administration to begin using the same LAUSD infrastructure that is being utilized for the Grab-And-Go program to begin vaccinating the community.
Beutner argues that vaccinating LAUSD staff will help speed up the timeline for reopening schools. All LAUSD campuses have been closed since last March, with all closes being conducted online.MORE NEWS: Daily COVID-19 Case Rates, Hospitalizations Continue Downward Trend In IE, Ventura County
LAUSD has been providing meals, supplies and technology services to a half-million students during the pandemic. It has also administered more than 350,000 coronavirus tests.