Sunnyvale parents can expect grades and groceries from local elementary schools.
The Sunnyvale School District has teamed up with Sunnyvale Community Services to provide bags of groceries to families in need so no child goes hungry on the weekend.
Four schools in the district prepare the food on either Thursday or Friday for families who identify as in need of nutritional support. Each school is a Title One school, which means a majority of the students qualify for free or reduced fee lunch.
An estimated $50's worth of fresh produce, eggs, string cheese and other family-friendly food items are stuffed into each bag.
“I think it’s a great thing because things are so expensive in the community and it allows individuals to ensure their family eats healthy,” said single mom Edna Kline.
Parent volunteers help distribute the 126 bags that are available each week. Families are required to sign in and declare their need before taking food home.
San Miguel Elementary School principal Christina Ballantyne says attendance has gone up on Mondays since the program started at the school over two years ago. Ballantyne says disciplinary office referrals seem to have decreased.
Teachers have noticed a difference in the classroom as well.
“Kids who come to school hungry are not as prepared to learn,” said Karen Dazols Albers, kindergarten teacher at San Miguel Elementary. “Kids that don’t have their basic needs met or just need that little extra boost through the weekend so they can keep getting their healthy meals provided from the school really connects to their learning.”