School is out for the holidays, but now the concern turns to the sad reality that some children in the Coachella Valley go hungry during breaks like this one. These same children don’t have access to meals at home like they do when in school.
The students at Cabot Yera Elementary School are all on a free or reduced school lunch program. For assistant principal Jody Diaz, this is a red flag that the need is great in her area.
These students however are only a portion of those who face food insecurity across the Coachella Valley.
According to FIND Food Bank 83% of children in the Coachella Valley that go to public school qualify for free and reduced lunch.
Now that schools are closed for winter break, children don’t have the same access to the meals they count on five days a week. So during that time FIND Food Bank really tries to step it up to help fill that void.
It’s been able to do so with its mobile food distributions that provide families with up to two weeks of healthy meals.
Diaz feels a sigh of relief knowing that the food bank is able to help her school’s struggling families in this way.
The importance of feeding little tummies is crucial in helping grow our children of tomorrow.
“The effects it can have on children’s mental health and physical health with regards to food insecurity becomes a chronic issue,” said FIND Food Bank CEO Debbie Espinosa.
Espinosa also said hunger hurts a student’s performance in school which oftentimes leads to worse outcomes in adulthood.
Through the year, families have access to any of FIND Food Bank’s mobile food distributions.