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Eastman Avenue Elementary School is Helping Children All Year Long

Eastman Avenue Elementary School is Helping Children All Year Long

Eastman Avenue Elementary School is at the heart of a vibrant East LA neighborhood where food insecurity has long been an issue. For years, the school has partnered with the Food Bank to make sure that their students have healthy food to eat during the school day AND on weekends. The economic collapse triggered by COVID-19 put unprecedented stress on a program relied upon by so many Eastman families. Blanca Espinoza is a Healthy Start Coordinator for LAUSD. Eastman is one of the schools she manages.

Eastman Avenue Elementary

“Eastman Avenue is part of the LA Regional Food Bank’s Backpack Program. The Backpack Program was created when teachers noticed that many of their students were showing up to school Monday morning hungry and not ready to learn. Our research revealed that there simply wasn’t enough food in our student’s homes to feed them over the weekend when they didn’t have access to school meals. So, every Friday, with the help of the Food Bank, we would send enough food home with a child to feed them 6 healthy meals over a normal weekend, or 9 healthy meals over a long weekend. When the pandemic struck in March, demand for the weekend food backpacks increased and we were able to meet it. When the school year ended, we transitioned to our Summer Hunger programs.”

Every morning, volunteer parents come into the school to prepare about 200 grab-and-go breakfast and lunches for the kids. Pickup begins at 9 AM and continues until the meals run out, which they do, every day.” – Blanca Espinoza.

Help Children and Families in LA Who Need Us the Most

Back to school season always generates extra expenses, and this year will be even more difficult for some of our neighbors as learning from home presents new burdens. Before the pandemic, 1 in 4 children in our community relied on school for their meals. Since schools in Los Angeles County will be conducting remote learning this fall, it’s especially important to help families in need. The LA Regional Food Bank is committed to making sure that hunger is not one of those burdens.

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