OUSD to provide free 'grab and go' meal for all city residents under 18

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All Oaklanders who are 18 years old and younger can get free meals at 22 Oakland Unified School District schools starting Thursday, district officials said Wednesday.

Families can pick up food from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Mondays and Thursdays, including 10 meals per child on Thursdays to last the weekend.

Everyone is urged to practice social distancing and wear a mask to protect themselves and others. 

No "Grab and Go" meals will be distributed on Monday, Sept. 7, because it's Labor Day.

Young people going to charter schools, private schools and receiving homeschooling are eligible, which was the case over the summer until about three weeks ago when federal rules changed, limiting meals to students in OUSD schools. 

The federal rule change was reversed, school district officials said. Students in Oakland's Young Adult Program are also eligible.

"This is an exciting and welcome change," said OUSD Nutrition Services Executive Director Irene Reynolds. "Our role is to feed the young people of Oakland. It shouldn't be to weed out families in need just because their children don't attend our schools. 

"Hunger is a critical issue in our city, especially now during the pandemic, and we must ensure all children receive the nutritious food they need to get them through this challenging time." 

The meal program will provide three meals for each student each weekday and four meals for each weekend. 

On Thursdays, in addition to 10 meals per child, families can get other necessities. Pickup days are Mondays and Thursdays. Kids do not need to be present.

A map of the 22 sites and more information about the meal program can be found at www.ousd.org/nutrition.