Due to the novel coronavirus outbreak, schools were closed in Santa Clara County abruptly without much warning. Families who rely on their school and community to provide food and groceries are now worried they will go hungry. The Assistance League of Los Altos learned the news firsthand from Christina Ballantyne, Principal of San Miguel Elementary School in Sunnyvale School District, and responded by immediately starting a food relief effort to help the underserved families at the district Title 1 schools.
“The Assistance League of Los Altos has stepped up in a big way for our Sunnyvale community,” said Ballantyne. “At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, families were requesting support with additional food resources as parents began to be furloughed and laid off from work. The Assistance League of Los Altos responded immediately with financial support to supply groceries to families.
“In less than a week, groceries were purchased and distributed to families in need,” continued Ballantyne. “With the support of the Assistance League of Los Altos and another non-profit organization, we can distribute groceries every single week, helping families during this time of crisis. The same program will begin to take place at the other Title 1 elementary schools which will mean weekly grocery distributions between the Assistance League of Los Altos and another non-profit organization. Our families are appreciative and grateful for the caring and support during this time of crisis.”
The Assistance League of Los Altos has been working closely with the school principals and the district office since the lockdown in mid-March. They plan to expand support to all five Title 1 schools in the Sunnyvale School District in the coming weeks. Roughly 51 percent to 71 percent of the students are from low-income families in these five schools and qualify for a free and/or reduced lunch program. The school closures might leave some of our community’s children without access to nutritious meals.
“We are grateful to work with a group of dedicated, caring, and selfless school principals to provide much-needed help to local needy families during these uncertain times,” said Grace Pedersen, VP of Programs of Assistance League of Los Altos.